Wilton family says foul odor in air is making them sick

An Iowa family says the air around their home is making them sick, and they blame a factory new to the neighborhood.

Bill and Karen Locey have lived in their home in Wilton, Iowa for 17 years.

“We’re used to Wilton, an area where you go outside and breathe fresh air,” said Karen.

However, they say that air is now keeping them imprisoned in their own home.

“My kids don’t want to go outside,” said Bill.

They say the foul smell is coming from a new plant in town called Vitalix. The plant cooks molasses.

“It smells obnoxious; really, really strong,” said Bill.

The say the smell is so strong, they have to cover their faces with towels when they leave the house.  They also say the smell has made some people in their family sick.

“I have gotten physically ill from it before,” said daughter Melissa.

“We have talked about selling our house if, you know, they continue; especially if they start cooking everyday,” said Karen.

Melissa says she has a hard time concentrating in school because of it, and she has decided not to participate in track and field this year.

“We’re kids. We should be allowed to go outside and hang out with our friends. We should be allowed to open our windows. We shouldn’t be restricted to doing certain things because of a plant that they put in,” said Melissa.

Bill and his family have complained to the city a few times.

“We were promised a long time ago that they would be doing something in March.  March came, April came, and nothing was being done,” said Bill.

They say they hope, this time, something gets done.

“It’s not very pleasant to live around here,” said Bill.

Wilton’s city manager says a new system will be installed at the plant that should help with the smell by the end of May.

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