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IDP building for sale, but odor problem continues

SIBLEY, Iowa-- The city of Sibley has been in an ongoing battle with Iowa Drying and Processing (IDP) since last year due to an unbearable odor coming from the plant.

SIBLEY, Iowa-- The city of Sibley has been in an ongoing battle with Iowa Drying and Processing (IDP) since last year due to an unbearable odor coming from the plant.  

That fight may soon be coming to an end, as the building recently was listed for sale.

According to William Stazzoni, commercial real estate broker for World Group in Omaha, Neb., the building has been for sale since last month. He said there hasn’t been any offers on it yet.

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IDP CFO Jim Reidy said the plant is going to continue running until a buyer is found.

“We just decided that it is in our best interest to put the facility up for sale,” Reidy said. “We are still doing operations in that facility, and we will continue until we find a buyer or a tenant for the facility.”

Members of Sibley’s city council gathered in late May to listen to IDP’s promises to mask the smell. Reidy said the IDP received a permit during the council meeting to install scrubbers, which were supposed to subdue the odor. He said it was looking forward to start the process as soon as an engineer approved it, but the odor has continued to have a negative effect on local businesses and residents.

“To our knowledge they haven't installed the scrubber or hired an engineer to deal with the odor issue,” said Tim Nobles, a Sibley council member.

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According to Nobles, the odor was stronger earlier this week than any other time.

“It was so bad, kids were walking on the street with their shirts over their face,” he said. “It was one of the worst days we have ever had. I don’t know how these guys can sleep at night knowing what they are doing to the community.”

Nobles said the city has tried to negotiate with IDP to find a solution to the problem. He said it had been patient because the company brings prosperity to the city.

“They were big electricity users, which it is good for our utilities, so it does affect us if they leave,” Nobles said. “We certainly want them in that building. We want employees to be able to have jobs, and it is not in our best interest to have that buildingfill empty … but it is hurting our entire community.”

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Nobles said the dialogue came to a halt when the city decided to start legal proceedings against IDP. He said the city has issued around 30 separate usage violations.

“They haven't paid any of the fines and they have not complied with our request to fix it,” Nobles explained. “They are violating our local laws, but until the court system enforces that, we are in a standstill.”

According to city attorney Harold Dawson, the first hearings are scheduled for Nov. 1-2, during which a temporary injunction will be requested. Dawson said it’s hoped that the court will enforce the city’s order.

“The important thing right now is that we have everything set for the hearing in front of the district court,” Dawson said. “So the next hearing is in respect to try to enforce the city’s order as far as getting something done like hiring an engineer and … trying to find out what can be done to eliminate the odor.”

 

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