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West Allis residents upset over late-night work in their backyard

CREATED Apr. 4, 2013

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WEST ALLIS - West Allis neighbors are frustrated about how long crews are allowed to work at a nearby business, and are saying, "Not in my backyard."

Imagine hearing loud booms throughout your neighborhood late at night.

"It's hard to get to sleep. It's hard to do anything pretty much without hearing it," said resident Dan Miicke.

Miicke says the noise coming from Unit Drop Forge near his West Allis home has made for a tough night's sleep the last few weeks. The company just added a late shift, and that can mean a noisy night. Many night they are working until 11:00 p.m.

"I would be happy with them shutting down even an hour earlier," he said.

Alderman Vince Vitale is a big supporter of the second shift. And thanks to an approved variance, the company can keep it for the next 10 years if they want.

"The second shift has to be because they have to fill some of the vendors demands," Ald. Vitale said.

Vitale knows the company pretty well. He retired from it 5 years ago, but insists that has nothing to do with his stance.

"I have a job to do," he said. "I'm concerned about the city. We need some tax base."

Vitale argues the company is a big job creator, adding 60 in the last few years, and they have to keep up with the work coming in.

"So if you say to a customer, ‘I will not be able to do that for you,’ they're going to start looking somplace else," he explains.

And as long as the company complies with certain standards, they're well within their rights to add the extra hours, even if they're sleepless ones for some.

"[It's] just a big hassle," Miicke said.

Miicke explained that he has filed a mortgage application to move out of the area, and Alderman Vitale says the company hopes to be done with this work in the next two months. But if they need to keep going, there's nothing to stop it.