Michigan Sugar plant releases their pungent smell of employment

Michigan Sugar might have odor issues, but residents point out that there are a lot of jobs at stake.

Without a doubt the scent from Michigan Sugar is pungent. But long time residents don't say it stinks, rather it's the smell of a working Michigan.

For as long as Pat Passage can remember the plant has always stunk. Recent odor is bringing her memory back 22 years ago when her husband had had enough.

"When my husband was alive he used to complain about it. And he would call over there and all that," said Monitor Township resident Pat Passage.

In a statement the company says they are sorry but they need to perform maintenance on their wastewater treatment system.

"You would think there would be something they could put on it to keep the smell down," said Passage.

But there isn't for now so long time locals are sticking to what has always worked in the past.

"If I got a window that faces this way i don't open that window," said Passage.

Residents say being used to the smell helps but keeping their eyes on the silver lining is the best solution.

"Lot of jobs right there the plant has been there 120 years or so," said Monitor Township resident Kevin Schmidt.

While grinding out sugar beet season is an option for these locals passage acknowledges itâ??s not for everyone.

"I say if he was here he would really complain but what do you do," said Passage.

With peak sugar beet season on the horizon the concern is shifting from scent to traffic while these big rigs come into town with shut down Salzburg road.

The Department of Environmental Quality has sent a letter to the sugar company asking them for a plan to reduce odor. The plant has not responded yet.