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Smell permeates city Tuesday and Wednesday

MASON CITY – A not-so-pleasant aroma has invaded Mason City over the last 24 hours or so and continues to linger.

An NIT reader contacted us this morning about the obvious smell issue and asked us to try and find out what or where the smell was coming from.

We first reached out to the public to see what they had to say and if they had any ideas.

“I’m south of Roosevelt school & the smell has been coming & going for a couple of days – sometimes it is covered with the stench of Vi-Cor,” one woman said.

“It smells terrible out at Four Oaks (south of NIACC) – I almost don’t want to take the kids outside due to the stench,” said a man.

“Definitely makes it hard to want to keep the windows open,” still another woman offered.

“I think some one is pumping a hog confinement. That odor travels miles,” another man wrote.

We made a call out to the Mason City Water Reclamation (sewage) plant and they said all is normal there.  City staff in general knew nothing of the smell until Neighborhood Services Manager Pat Otto seemed to get to the bottom of it.

“Jim Sberal (Code Enforcement Officer/Zoning Administrator) spoke to a farmer from the Portland area who said there is a cattle confinement building several miles south of Mason City; they are knifing manure into the fields.

So there you have it… manure in the fields.

As long as we are talking about complaining about smells, city hall’s Tricia Sandahl says that to the best of her knowledge, the city has not considered an “odor hotline” like Des Moines offers.

As long as they find an answer in a timely manner as they did today, might not need one.  Thanks Pat for getting to the bottom of this, and Tricia for referring the matter to the right person.

As for the smell, it might linger awhile, as farmers are taking out crops and spreading the natural fertilizer and this will go on awhile.

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