Some residents of the Gainesway subdivision aren't happy about a city project that is stinking up part of their neighborhood, and now city officials are working to eliminate the odor.
A contractor working for Urban County Government recently spread a dark brown mixture containing manure across a graded lot on Coldstream Court where three houses had been demolished.
As temperatures heated up, the eau de barnyard grew stronger.
Henry Ebling, who has lived on Coldstream Court for 40 years, said the stench was the worst Monday.
"It was almost unbearable," he said Tuesday afternoon. "You can't plan anything — we don't want friends over."
Coldstream Court resident Nancy Jo Kemper said the foul smell made her sick to her stomach when she was in her yard.
"It was awful," she said. "It seeped through the windows and doors. ... It smells like a pig farm."
This spring, the same compost mixture, which also contains mulch and dirt, was spread one street over, on Crimson King Court, where three houses had been demolished. Grass seed was sown, and then the mixture was topped with straw. Grass now covers most of that space.
The city bought the six houses and tore them down because of problems with flooding from a creek, said Charlie Martin, director of the city's Division of Water Quality.
Michael Clayborne, an inspector overseeing the project for the division, said the compost mixture has been used at other demolition sites around the city as well.
But Kemper said the stench from Crimson King Court lasted for weeks.
The original plan was to sow grass seed atop the mixture on Coldstream Court too, Clayborne said. That plan changed when residents who were overpowered by the manure smell raised a stink of their own.
Kemper said she had complained to city officials about the odors coming from Crimson King, but nothing was done. On Monday, she said she called the mayor's office about the stench coming from her own street.
Martin went to Coldstream Court on Monday night to smell for himself.
"It certainly wasn't something that I considered to be acceptable," he said.
He had crews spread lime on the property Monday night, and on Tuesday, 14 truckloads of clay were spread over the site. Neighbors said the measures seemed to help.
Martin said the city will re-evaluate its procedures.
"All we can do is apologize to them for the inconvenience," he said.