SIOUX CITY -- The owners of a processing and manufacturing plant have appealed a federal judge's ruling that upheld the city of Sibley's odor ordinance.
Iowa Drying & Processing and ChemSol on Monday filed notice of the appeal to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Sioux City, the notice does not say on what grounds the companies are appealing Chief U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand's ruling, but the action was expected. In an email to the Journal after Strand's ruling, Scott Carlson, an attorney representing the companies, said they disagreed with the ruling.
"We have long felt that a better solution to our differences with the city of Sibley was one of cooperation rather than litigation. ... IDP and ChemSol invested millions in Sibley after full disclosure about our operations and receiving the city's acceptance, so we hold out hope that we will be able to work with Sibley to become a positive presence in the community," Carlson said.
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In their lawsuit against the city, IDP and ChemSol had argued that the city's ordinance was vague and the city had arbitrarily enforced it, targeting the company with thousands of dollars in fines.
Strand last month ruled that the ordinance was not unconstitutionally vague and that the "public nuisance" concept within the ordinance has long been upheld by other courts. The lawsuit was dismissed.
IDP and ChemSol sued the city in February 2018, saying in the lawsuit said the city's enforcement had crippled IDP's ability to operate the plant and had caused more than $3.5 million in damages because it had to change to less profitable business practices. IDP also had said the city intentionally interfered with its efforts to sell the 160,000-square-foot plant, a multi-purpose facility that dries products, including animal byproducts, and blends them into products that serve a variety of industries, including pet and livestock food manufacturers.
The plant, previously occupied by Associated Milk Producers Inc., was opened in 2013 by ChemSol, a Minnetonka, Minnesota, chemical manufacturer and supplier. ChemSol transferred the plant in April 2017 to IDP, which was formed to operate the facility. The two are separate companies with common management.
The city had issued IDP at least 45 citations totaling $42,850 in fines from early 2016 to 2018 after residents continually complained of foul odors from the plant.
Conditions have improved, and the city has received fewer complains, city administrator Glenn Anderson told the Journal in June.