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Noise Complaint: St. Mary's Quieter Fans Coming Soon, Official Says

Some Richmond Heights residents have expressed frustration over the noise caused by the hospital's air-conditioning units. The official originally said installation would happen over the winter.

Quieter fans are expected to be installed for air-conditioning (AC) units by the end of May, an official said Thursday.

Don Wojtkowski, the hospital's executive director of design, construction and facilities, said the facility did "quite a bit of work" over the winter to address . Installation of the new fans is expected to begin in about a week.

The noise has been an issue since Kevin Baum and his family moved into their Yale Avenue home three years ago. The fans have started up again this year thanks to the warm temperatures.

"We've all been kind of going, 'Does this sound any different?'" Baum said.

That's because Wojtkowski told he and his neighbors last fall that new fans would be installed over the winter. They were supposed to make less noise. during an October meeting.

In November, Baum saw workers near the AC units. He thought they might be preparing to install the new fans. Instead, they power-washed the facility's acoustic louvres, which cut down noise from the units. He hasn't seen people working on top of the building since.

On a recent day, he stood about 20 feet away from the house near a doorway His daughter stood just inside the door, talking to him.

Baum couldn't hear her.

An application he downloaded for his smartphone indicates the fans are routinely operating at 66 decibels, a bit louder than last year. St. Louis County code caps the approved decibel level at 55.

Baum said the city of Richmond Heights has been responsive about the issue.

If he could ask Wojtkowski one question, he said, it would be: "When is he going to do what he said he was going to do?"

District 3 Councilwoman Gina Mitten has been working closely with people in the neighborhood to resolve the issue. She declined to comment on Thursday because she wanted to first speak with residents.

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