Bowman Gray Stadium neighbors express their issues

Bowman Gray Stadium neighbors express their issues
July 02
00:00 2015

In above photo: Greg Turner, left, assistant city manager, and Council Member Derwin Montgomery listen as members of the community address their concerns about the methane gas that has been recently discovered in the vicinity of Bowman Gray Stadium on Thursday, June 25. (Photo by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle)

Initial check for gas near Bowman Gray complete

By Tevin Stinson
The Chronicle

City officials held their first meeting since testing was done in the vicinity of Bowman Gray Stadium to determine if the levels of methane gas found in the area were hazardous.

During the open meeting held at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, 1400 Fitch St., members and residents of the community expressed their displeasure with how city officials are handling the process.

On Wednesday, June 3, the city of Winston-Salem announced it found methane gas levels as high as 50 percent in the soil around the stadium and in the parking lot. The next day, officials announced they would be doing testing in the neighborhoods surrounding the stadium.

According to the residents in those neighborhoods, the city has not done a good job of letting them know what having methane gas in the soil means for their property and, most importantly, their health.

Jacob Hughes said that most of the residents in the area are senior citizens who can’t physically get out to community meetings and that the city should do a better job of letting those people know what’s going on.

“A lot of the people who are most effected by this aren’t able to get out to meetings so they don’t really know what’s going on or what methane gas is,” Hughes said. “The city should have people going door to door telling these people what was found and what’re the next steps.”

A statement released by city officials said while the odorless, flammable gas escaping the soil is not hazardous, it could pose a threat of explosion and cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea if build up is confined inside buildings.

According to the statement, testing had to be conducted before a plan could be set in motion. The initial testing was conducted by Smith Gardner consulting firm. Stacey Smith, president of Smith Garner, said that in the 14 homes they tested, none had a detection of methane.

“We’ve done an extensive sweep of the Bowman Gray property and the surrounding areas,” Smith said. “We have not found any methane gas inside any of the residents we have tested at this time.”

Assistant City Manager Greg Turner said that if residents would like their property checked for methane gas, they should let city officials know by filling out the correct forms. According to Turner, private property cannot be checked for the gas unless the property owner gives permission.

“We need your permission to go onto your property to sample soil and enter your homes. The last thing we want is methane in someone’s home, but we can’t check unless the permission is given,” Turner said.

To be added to the list to have property and home checked, residents must fill out a form that is posted on the city’s website.
Dennis Leach, who is the pastor at Morning Star, said he believes a better plan should be set up for checking the neighborhoods in the community.

“A lot of the residents are not computer literate, so unless someone does it for them, they won’t be able to have their homes checked. That just isn’t right,” Leach said. “I just don’t want anyone’s property to be overlooked for that reason.”

According to Turner, testing in the area will continue on Tuesday, July 7. Results from those tests will not be back until late August.

“We will continue testing until we have a clear understanding what we’re dealing with. We need the support of the community to make sure no one is at risk.”

A PowerPoint presentation that was shown during the meeting, showing which locations have already been tested, is located on the city’s official website.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors