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Published June 23, 2013, 10:05 PM

Perham odor driving out business, making owners upset

Perham, MN (WDAY TV) - Construction on Perham's new treatment pond is severely behind schedule and it's taking a toll on tourism, business and people who are just plain sick of it.

Perham, MN (WDAY TV) - Construction on Perham's new treatment pond is severely behind schedule and it's taking a toll on tourism, business and people who are just plain sick of it.

Some business owners are so upset that they wouldn't even talk to us on camera. Now, the city says they have this situation under control. But, others think that's just not the case.

The lingering smell swept the city almost two years ago. It took time, before the state and federal aid came in to cover the six million dollar project. But while the people of Perham and businesses wait, sales keep falling.

One restaurant, who didn't want to be mentioned, reported a 30 percent drop in profit since the odor began. And this summer, it's even stronger. Because as the city keeps rapidly growing, and commercial companies move in, the problem becomes bigger too.

Mayor Tim Meehl, Perham: "Some cities would probably like to have the problem we have. Not the stink, but the success that we have. With success comes some things that you have to fix."

Kelcey Klemm, Perham City Manager: "We don't want people not to come and shop in Perham because of odor issues. And it hurts the city officials and any city employees who are working on trying to fix the problem. We don't want to hear that either."

Now, this construction project, it's supposed to wrap up by mid fall. So, that smell can go away and tourism can come back downtown.

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