Dickinson residents meet an industrial-sized stinkLiving in an industrial area has its hazards, as Lori and Ron Sticka of Sticka Photography said they are discovering. Though the Stickas moved into their home of 36 years before the area was zoned industrial, lately it’s become too much for them to bear.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
Living in an industrial area has its hazards, as Lori and Ron Sticka of Sticka Photography said they are discovering. Though the Stickas moved into their home of 36 years before the area was zoned industrial, lately it’s become too much for them to bear.
“The smell is horrendous,” she said. “We’ve had to close our studio, cancel appointments and literally leave our home, six days that we could not be here because the smell permeates.”
The fumes are caused by a one-time three-week project at neighboring Continental Metal Products Inc. to get the large piles of steel cut down to below fence level, General Manager Eric Kidder said.
Kidder has been in Dickinson since April, and getting Scrap Rats of Battlecreek, Mich., to cut down the giant piles of steel so they can be removed was one of his first big projects.
Continental Metal received clearance from the proper authorities to begin cutting, he said.
But Thursday, the estimated end date of the project, can’t come fast enough for the Stickas.
“It cannot be good for the health,” Lori Sticka said. “I have developed a chronic cough and … sick, nauseated, dizzy, vomiting, headache. I’m sure it’s all a combination of that because of the smell.”
She brought her complaint to Dickinson Commissioner Shirley Dukart and City Administrator Shawn Kessel, who brought the issue to the City Commission meeting Monday.
Kessel said he spoke to Stick multiple times about Continental Metal, including 6:30 a.m. the morning of the meeting.
When the Stickas moved in, the area was zoned agricultural/residential. Later, it was rezoned industrial, Kessel said at the meeting. The Stickas may live in that zone as long as they wish, but if they were to move or if the property were condemned; it would become an industrial lot.
“After it was rezoned, the sensitivity, if you want to use the term, towards the residential side of that is kind of removed,” City Planner Ed Courton said Monday.
The Stickas have lived in their house since 1976.
“In 1980, we were in next to the city and we were told that all that would go around here would be big-deal storage type buildings, things like that,” Sticka said.
Kidder was able to address the commission after The Press left Monday.
Most of her industrial neighbors, which include FedEx and Rockwater Energy Solutions, are not as disruptive as Continental Metal, she said.
“They’ve had a pincher or a machine working 24 hours a day over there,” Sticka said. “Which is ‘bang, bang, bang’ noise for 24 hours a day.”
Continental Metal does run on central time, which is an hour ahead of Dickinson’s time zone, but generally operations do not start until 7:30 a.m. each morning and are done by 3:45 p.m., Kidder said.
“I’m not gonna have them start at 5 a.m. because there are people sleeping,” he said of his crew.
Sticka acknowledges the purpose of Continental Metals, but wishes they would move outside of city limits.
“If they’re gonna have these kinds of smells and odors and fumes coming out of there, they should not be within a mile of any human creature — animal, person, whatever,” she said. “It’s that bad.”
Because of the temporary nature of the project, the city will take no action at this time.