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Des Moines approves funding to study downtown stench

The downtown Des Moines skyline.
The downtown Des Moines skyline.(KCCI)
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCCI) - After years of something smelling not quite right in parts of Des Moines, the city has hired an outside firm to help figure out what it is, and how to fix it.

According to television station KCCI, the Des Moines City Council approved an $83,000 contract on Monday to Illinois-based RK & Associates to sniff out the source of an odor that one resident described as “burnt flesh crossed with putrid dumpster.”

The company will collect air samples, review recent complaints to the city about the smell, and review city regulations on the matter.

City officials have blamed a rendering plant on the east side of Des Moines in the past.

While some residents fear that the smell could convince tourists to not return to the city, others aren’t as concerned.

“I mean, everybody knows Cedar Rapids stinks, but people still go there,” Jennifer Morrow, of Des Moines, said.

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