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Lakeland neighborhood pushing back over smelly operation next door

Posted at 6:27 PM, Mar 15, 2017

A smelly situation keeps popping up in a Polk County retirement community. Homeowners want something done about it.

For the last few months, residents along Skyview Drive and a portion of Reynolds Road in Lakeland have been complaining about a terrible odor that keeps wafting in their direction.

“It’s so bad, you can’t stand it. You have to go into the house and shut the doors and windows,” said Tom Reel about the stench. “People are really upset.”

Reel is one of several residents who filed complaints with agencies at the county and state level.

The apparent source, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection: BS Ranch and Farm.

“It stinks, yes,” Owner Brandy Stanton admitted to ABC Action News Wednesday.

She describes the operation as a sort-of composting plant, but in large volumes. They take in trash, old food, human waste, and then process it into soil.

Stanton is quick to point out the plant has been thoroughly vetted and approved by the county and state.

“If we are causing issues for them, as far as odors or anything, we are 110 percent committed to doing what we need to do to address that,” she said.

But it’s not just the neighbors.

The Florida DEP recently took issue with the smelly situation on five different visits.

The company now says it is working with them to resolve it, starting with a new ‘odor control’ section on its website, however, they still even question if the odor people are smelling is absolutely from them.

So far, about 400 residents have signed a petition for the county or state to take action.

Neighbors plan to meet with county representatives tomorrow to try to find a solution.

“I know there is a common ground,” Staton insisted.

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