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Pleasant Grove residents protest to ‘Stop the Stench’

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Posted at 7:05 PM, Jun 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-13 22:05:52-04

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah - Pleasant Grove residents held a protest Thursday aimed at a sewage treatment plant they say is stinking up their neighborhood.

Local politicians and businessmen gathered at a Pleasant Grove BMW dealership to share their concerns and ideas about how to minimize smells from a sewage plant across the freeway that serves ten cities and towns in Utah County.

John Stevens, chair of the Pleasant Grove planning commission, says the stench has hurt development in what should be a prime area.

"We want to fix our roads but we can't because there's not enough money because we don't have the businesses here to help support," Stevens said.

That loss in business hurts more than just Pleasant Grove, Stevens says. Loss of sales tax from revenue also impacts Utah County and the state of Utah.

The smells come from the Timpanogos Special Service District, which treats sewage and makes compost. It began operating in 1976.

"When we were out here by ourselves, nobody was too concerned, and
decisions were made totally on cost effectiveness," said Jon Adams, manager of the facility.

But the community has grown and now residents are trying to work with the facility to make the smell go away.

On Thursday, Stevens suggested a temporary move of the composting operation, and many residents supported his idea.

"Let's move it for one year. This is very simple. After one year, if the smell is gone it was the composting, if the smell is still here, we have bigger problems," Stevens said.

But Adams says the costs of moving the composting operation could ultimately require raising service costs for all of their customers, including those in other cities that are not aware of and not impacted by the odor.