TWIN FALLS — The city says it is working to address concerns about odors along Hankins Road that may be coming from Chobani’s wastewater treatment facility.
During public comment at the City Council meeting on Monday, Alan Bleeker complained about the smell that’s increasingly noticeable at his house near Hankins Road. He believes the smell is traveling along the sewer system and says it’s even detectible at D & B Supply and at K-Mart.
“It’s not an odor,” he said. “It’s a stench. It smells like rotten animals.”
Bleeker isn’t the only one who’s complained. Jason Brown, an environmental engineer for the city, said the city has been working to identify the cause after hearing from residents.
“We have a pretty good idea of where it’s coming from, from the facility there that treats Chobani’s wastewater,” Brown said. “That wastewater treatment plant is not the only source in the area. There are other sources that we believe can contribute to odor issues so we are trying to investigate and work on those different sources as well and not trying to single-out one entity.”
The city has contacted Chobani and the Department of Environmental Quality, he said. He noted that from a regulatory standpoint, it can be difficult to go after that particular type of emission because it doesn’t have a permit associated with it.
“Odor is a difficult subject because it comes and goes and ebbs and flows,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the Council heard from fire department personnel on their recent trip to Seattle. They identified safety and wellness measures at other stations that could be implemented in Twin Falls when it updates its fire stations. Those included things such as blood pressure check stations, decontamination areas, and men’s and women’s restrooms.
The City Council also approved signing off on a project to improve pedestrian safety along Caswell Avenue and Washington Street.
But an even larger project along Pole Line Road and Eastland Drive North will rehabilitate more than a mile of roadway and significantly impact traffic this year. That project will have to be completed by August in order for the city to receive a $1.2 million state grant to fund it.
The road would be almost entirely reconstructed, with a 20-year design life based on traffic projections. City staff have said the road has begun to fail in spots — particularly after the 2016-2017 winter.
Also at the meeting, the City Council:
- Gave authorization for the city’s planning and zoning department to completely rewrite the city’s Title 10 — zoning and development — regulations.
- Approved a zoning change for the southern portion of the College of Southern Idaho’s campus to allow it to have buildings that are three stories high and to have residence halls or rooming houses.
- Approved a zoning change and vacation of an easement at the southeast corner of Harrison Street and Canyon Falls Road.
- Approved a zoning title amendment to add “wedding chapel and/or reception halls” to be allowed with a special use permit in one zone inside the area of impact.