Letter warns Eufaula sandblasting owner about permits

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Updated: 5/09/2013 10:13 am Published: 5/08/2013 11:27 pm

A letter sent to a Eufaula sandblasting company, the site of a propane explosion, shows the city warned one of the owners to stop work until it had the proper permits.

As FOX23 News first reported on FOX23 News at 9 on Tuesday, the Mayor Selina Dornan said her office sent a letter to Ford Sandblasting saying they were not zoned properly for painting and sandblasting propane tanks.

FOX23 news reviewed the letter and saw that before the fire, the letter was dated Feb. 28, 2013, on City of Eufaula letterhead and addressed to a reported owner, Jimmy Teague. It was signed by Community Development Director Gordon Pennington.

The attorney for Michael Ford, who is another owner of Ford Sandblasting, says his client did not receive a warning letter.

"As far as he knew he was operating in the proper location, in the proper zone and doing the things he was supposed to do," said Ford's attorney, Ken Dominic.

FOX23 News found that Eufaula's zoning laws, under Part 12, chapter 2, outline the types of zoning regulations and penalties for doing business without a proper permit.

It carries a $100 fine and a misdemeanor charge.

The Eufaula city council agenda posted online did not show Ford Sandblasting recently applying for a zoning permit.

Mayor Selina Dornan was out of town on Wednesday, but on Tuesday she interviewed with FOX23 News and said the city did send a cease and desist letter to Ford Sandblasting.

"We'd had some complaints, and we did contact them to let them know that. So they were contacted and asked to cease and desist doing industrial work in this area," said Dornan.

FOX23 News spoke to the neighbor who complained. They did not want to go on camera but say the work at Ford Sandblasting was noisy all hours of the day and the odors from the paint kept them from opening their windows at home.

"It's my understanding that that attorney, my client and the property owner had spoken and tried to work out some kind of an agreement as to putting up maybe a fence or something in between the property and the business, " said Dominic.

The neighbors who Dominic refers to as the property owners say the same barbed wired fence is still there and there are no barriers. They say they have complained several times to the city.

FOX23 News will continue to look into this issue and will keep you updated on new information as it becomes available.

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