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Glad to see residents speak out, mayor listen on smells

Stink: the latest issue to spark community involvement in local government.

Recently, bad smells have permeated the air around Alpena’s north side. In response, a group of about a dozen residents demonstrated at City Hall, demanding a solution to the stink that they worry could be a sign of air pollutants that could be harming them.

Despite at times having to speak over shouts of anger, Alpena Mayor Matt Waligora spoke to the group at City Hall, News staff writer Julie Riddle reported.

The mayor said representatives from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have been in Alpena all week, investigating the source of a smell on Alpena’s north side that the mayor acknowledged has been stronger this year than in years past.

A state environmental worker on Friday isolated the source of a particularly strong smell as emanating from a lagoon on the property of Decorative Panels International, according to City Engineer Steve Shultz.

We hope the city and state can work with DPI to address the smell quickly.

In the meantime, it thrills us to see residents take ownership of their community and demand action from their elected representatives.

And we’re again glad to see those representatives listening to and working with residents to try to address the problem.

That’s how local government is supposed to work, and we’re glad to see that happening here.

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