After two years of noise complaints, the City of Carmel is spending significantly more money to quiet a chiller than it did to install it in the first place.
The city’s Board of Public Works recently approved spending $374,500 on noise mitigation for the chiller, which the city installed for $238,000 in 2017. The Carmel City Council on Nov. 18 approved transferring $275,000 from the general fund to the 2019 building operations budget to help pay for the fix.
“Noise has been an ongoing problem since the chiller was installed. This is actually a very common problem with chillers, which is why there are companies who develop solutions to mitigate the noise,” Carmel spokesman Dan McFeely stated in an email. “Last summer, the mayor directed the city to fix the noise problem this year.”
Westfield-based eNoise Control will use a crane to construct a six-sided acoustic barrier enclosure that is 20 feet wide, 58 feet long and 20 feet high. Installation is expected begin the first week of December and take approximately two weeks.
This is not the city’s first attempt to quiet the chiller. In May 2018, the Carmel Redevelopment Commission spent approximately $30,000 to install a wrap that led to a 2/3 reduction in the noise level, according to professionals who worked on the project.
The chiller is on top of a brick structure between a parking garage and the Mezz 42 apartments, which is along 3rd Ave SW south of City Center Drive. It is used to cool the city’s outdoor ice skating rink in the winter and cool several nearby buildings, including The Palladium and City Hall, in warmer months. The noise has led some Mezz 42 tenants to move elsewhere.
Carmel Director of Administration Jim Crider told the city council Nov. 18 the acoustic barrier is expected to solve the problem for good.
“This will quiet down the chiller so it won’t be a problem anymore, particularly for the residents that live right next to it,” he said.