homepage logo


Letters to the Editor

By Staff | Jul 10, 2010

Odor concerns

To the EDN:

Concerned about odors from the new rendering plant.

The south end of Estherville has always been a blue collar roll up your sleeves neighborhood. Much of its character springs from the fact that when the packing plants and the old sewer plant were going it had odor issues.

I was here when the last packing plant closed and well recall how wrenching it was. There was however one good thing came from it, the odor was gone. The last 25 years have seen the south end of town greatly improve. No, we don’t have any Donald Trumps buying blocks and knocking them down to build penthouses, but Larry Anderson built South Park and a lot of homes have been upgraded. There is a new sense of pride in our neighborhoods. Drive down my street, South 15th, you can see this pride in the well kept lawns and brightly painted houses.

The local college expanded, the wellness center and new armory were built. Our new ball park was constructed along with new tennis courts and the walking trail. A soccer field and skate park were added . We even got a landmark, the new wind tower.

And that is why I am upset by the odors from the new rendering plant coming into our neighborhood. Not only has the south end of town put a lot of work into improving itself, the entire community, the entire county even, has contributed to its revival. I strongly believe we all deserve better than to have it once again viewed as an undesirable place to live, work or play.

For example,there have been at least three baseball games held in our new ballpark in the past month where the odor was very strong. What impression does this leave with the visiting team and their followers? What if the college has their graduation on an evening when a south wind is blowing?

How bad is the odor and how far does it carry? Pretty stout stuff. On a number of occasions I have smelled it at my shop on Central Avenue. To get to my shop on Central it has to get past the new ballpark, the college, the wellness center, the fairgrounds and our main school complex.

Another point, as it stands now financing a new house on the south end of town is tough, the legacy of the packing plants persists in lower property values. Put a 150K in a new house on the south end and you may have to kick in another 15 or 20 K in equity due to it being worth less after it is built than if located in one of the newer additions. Persistent odors, in my opinion, will only make this problem worse.

The south end of town has a good number of houses that are just about wore out. When these older homes are no longer viable we want the owners to be willing and able to replace them with new homes. If we let the odor coming from the rendering plant be the new normal will anyone be willing to rebuild on these empty lots? Will they be able to borrow the money if they do wish to build?

Change in a neighborhood does not come overnight. It has taken 25 years for the south end of town to improve to its current state and we still have a long way to go. Do we really want to burden the south end with odor issues again?

Yes, I have a dog in the hunt. Between my wife Rose and me and my stepson Dennis and his wife Brandi, we own three properties on the south end. More than just owning property on the south end though I feel like it is truly my home. I love its quirkiness and the free spirits that are my neighbors. It bothers me to see it get beat down again. I feel it deserves better.

Roy Gage,


A wonderful event at Rosewood

To the EDN:

“An evening with Gene Magden” was a wonderful event hosted by team Rosewood Manor for a fundraiser for the Iowa Lakes Memory Walk. Gene Magden was a former solo crooner with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and provided great entertainment for the meal. Every detail for the evening was carefully planned to make it a special evening from the Little Swan Lake Wine, salad bar, the beef and twice baked potatoes prepared by Sarah at Rosewood to the wonderful dessert menu crafted by Sandy Breyfogle. Sandy baked all of the desserts for the evening what a gift from the heart.

Special thanks to those who hosted tables for the event they were beautiful and you were all such gracious hostesses. Thanks to Sally Anderson, Jill Spurgin, Rosewood Resident Advocate Committee, Sandy Breyfogle, Carol Pluth, Laura Westergard, Beca Rodriguez, Rosewood Manor Auxiliary, Lisa Lowe, Sharon Lowe, Nancy Baker, Dee McDonald and Karen Hanson. Thank you for selling the tickets and supporting the Alzheimer’s Association.

This was a wonderful evening and it was great to see some of the residents enjoying the special evening, Gene spent the night in Estherville and entertained at Rosewood Manor the next day for the people that call Rosewood Manor home and their friends. A very special thank you to team Rosewood and all the families, advocates, auxiliary members and friends of Rosewood Manor that helped to create the magic of the evening. This was certainly an event that touched the heart from the smiles on the residents’ faces to the dancing and singing-it was a class act!

Kelly J. Schultz

Iowa Lakes Regional Director

Alzheimer’s Association