— It’s been nearly a year since residents of the Covingmont area of Virginia woke up to a new, more crowded noise pollution that threatens to destroy the natural harmony of their neighborhood.
Residents say they are being bombarded with new noise complaints because of new construction and construction jobs.
A study from the Center for Sustainable Development found that the area has seen a sharp rise in pollution from residential and commercial construction.
That pollution comes with the added benefit of an annual tax increase that residents say they don’t want.
The residents say the tax hike is being used to prop up a local company that’s built homes in the Coves that are now too close to one another and to make up for a lack of affordable housing.
It’s an example of the problem that Virginia is experiencing with pollution: a state that’s been struggling with housing affordability and has been hit hard by a downturn in the energy industry.
The problem is getting worse, says Jim Laskowski, a Covingtons resident.
“The city is not the only one.
The suburbs are doing it too,” Laskowskis attorney, Brian Johnson, told The Washington Post.
“They’re trying to squeeze every penny out of every single resident.
That’s just not fair to everyone.”
The Covingcounes are one of five towns in Virginia that have been sued by the state to increase their taxes.
They also have one of the highest rates of vehicle-related fatalities in the state, and one of Virginia’s worst traffic-related deaths per capita, according to a report from the Virginia State Patrol.
Laskowers is a retired firefighter who has worked in the area for nearly 20 years and has lived in the neighborhood since 1999.
“It is a problem.
It is not just an environmental problem.
There is a structural problem with the neighborhood.
It has deteriorated over the years.
The building that I live in is not in the right condition for my family.
It does not have the type of air conditioning that my children need, the type that my husband needs, the kind that my wife needs,” he said.
Johnson says that in order to prevent further deterioration of the neighborhood, he and his fellow Covingontown residents are demanding more money for the city to fix its pollution problems.
“What we want to do is to put pressure on them and say, ‘Look, we have an obligation to you,'” he said, pointing to an upcoming referendum that would require the city of Covingtoun to pay more for the pollution problems in the city.
“That is a huge demand.
We have to get our community back into shape.
And we have to make sure the city is doing everything they can to do that.”
Laskowsky said that even though the city has agreed to fix the problem, he fears that if the residents don’t agree to the demands, the state will take action to force the city into bankruptcy.
“I can’t believe we are going to be sued in bankruptcy by this state government,” he says.
“We have to do something.
I am going to do anything to make this city safe.
It won’t happen.”
Johnson says he has a solution.
“Every homeowner in Covingborough and Covingnett County deserves to pay their fair share,” he wrote in an email to The Washington News.
“When the state legislature passes a new income tax, then we can raise revenue to make the city livable again.”
In the wake of the financial crisis, Virginia lawmakers in Richmond, where Covingwood is located, enacted a law that makes it more difficult for developers to build new housing in the county.
This means that Covingmans new housing is built on the land of properties that are owned by the federal government, which means they have a tax break that is nearly impossible to escape.
According to a Virginia Taxpayers Alliance report, developers are also required to pay taxes on new housing developments in Richmond.
Johnson believes that the city and the county are getting a bad deal.
“If the city wants to make a deal with them, they should make a very, very big deal about it,” he told The Post.
Johnson, who lives in Coves, says he’s been working to raise awareness about the pollution problem and is calling on the residents of Coves to make their voices heard.
“Covington is an example.
They are an example for other places, and we need to do everything we can to make it a little bit better,” he added.
According to a recent report from The Washington Council on Poverty, Covingville has one of worst crime rates in the country.
The report found that one in five people living in Covets neighborhoods experienced homelessness in 2016, and the median income of Coveton residents was less than $20,000.