Sound-Proofing Noise Complaints
It's possible that in some remote part of the country, $74,000 will get you a decent place to live. In Key West, it gets you a quieter place to live -- if your house is currently beside the airport. Best of all, the federal government will pick up the tab. Up to 300 houses ringing the airport are in line for the sound-insulation treatment, which stops noise complaints via specially designed doors, windows and insulation that cut the noise level by 8 to 11 decibels. (They're designed to keep the noise out, but likely will reduce complaints from inside, too.) So far, just 21 homes have been retrofitted at a total cost of $1.5 million, an average of $74,000. But residents who want the package apparently have to make a little noise themselves. "I would love to just write a check," Airport Manager Peter Horton told the Keys News. "But this is a government program with lots of hoops to jump before, during and after." Key West residents have already done a fair bit to reduce the airport's impact, such as growing vegetation barriers, lobbying for a midnight to 6 a.m. flight curfew and convincing the local school board that the end of the runway wasn't the best place for a new high school.