Resident seeks answers for odor problems


MINSTER — Continuing problems with odors from the Dannon plant were discussed at the Tuesday night Minster Village Council meeting.

Minster resident Craig Sherman asked council to consider options to remediate the odors that come from the Dannon plant on a regular basis. The milk processing plant is located at the south edge of town.

Sherman said he thought the first order of business would be to have Dannon provide a root cause analysis report of the incidents when strong odors came from the plant. He said in his conversations with the Ohio EPA, such reports would show whether the causes of the odor problems were being dealt with.

At the meeting, Sherman was provided a requested paper record of 2020 incident reports by Don Harrod, Minster Village Administrator. Sherman said he hoped to see reports for earlier years. Harrod did tell council and Sherman that Dannon officials told him in a phone conversation that the latest odor cause was due to a failed AC unit and related blown circuits. Sherman maintained that a root cause analysis would help track causes more precisely.

Sherman also said that he would like the village to send a letter to the Dannon corporate headquarters in New Jersey and France making they were aware of the continuing problems at the Minster plant. He reminded the village they had sent a letter to the Dannon headquarters in 2013 asking for help in dealing with persistent odors at that time. He said that since then, there was an entirely new leadership and perhaps they needed to be notified of current problems.

He pointed out the EPA and even the village could increase fines if repeated violations occurred. He said that while the reports they did receive of odors and ammonia output were below EPA levels, it was necessary to create a consistent history in order to try to find ways to fix the problems that caused the odors.

Under old business, Harrod said they were again seeking bids for the expansion of the village’s solar field since an earlier contractor, Enpower, had not started construction on May 28 as promised. The three companies he is working with are Eitri Foundary, Cherry Street, and RC Energy.

In other business, Harrod reported to council that the swimming pool was now open and season passes were being sold. In order to comply with state-directed COVID precautions, three hundred and thirty people will be allowed in the pool complex but only 62 in the water at any one time.

He reported that the Minster Youth Softball and Baseball leagues as well as the men’s and women’s softball leagues had met with him before the games start this week to discuss sanitation procedures. He said the teams will be responsible for cleaning the dugout and related field structures while the village would cover the restroom cleaning.

He said the pickleball and basketball courts are nearing completion, with the last concrete pour just competed. After a two week curing period, they will be out to paint the surfaces. Lights are also being installed now.

Chilltex has poured the concrete pad for their new 12,000 square foot cold storage facility at the industrial park and expect to begin erecting the building this week. Harrod also said that they are expecting Helms and Sons will be done with the Second Street sewer project when asphalt is laid on Garfield Street this week.

In other actions, Council a first readings of an annexation of 18.44 acres of ground on the northeast corner Seventh and Main between Eagles Acres and Seventh street. They also approved a first reading of an ordinance dedicating Phase 1 of the new Weigandt Stonegate subdivision into the village.

Third and final readings were approved to begin a study to build a new water tower as well as begin a program to prevent water contamination by installation of back flow valves.

Under financial matters, receipts received by the village totaled $1,386,696.24 in May and invoices totaling $1,017,404.29.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

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