Oct 4, 2021 - News
Des Moines considers hiring consulting firm to track odors
Illustration of squiggly arrows pointing at a nose.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Des Moines officials are considering hiring a consulting firm to help the city identify and eliminate odors that residents have complained about for years.

Driving the news: The City Council is expected to vote on the $83,000 contract Monday night.

Why it matters: It's a quality-of-life issue important for the long-term development of local businesses and neighborhoods, Brandon Brown, the president of the Des Moines Downtown Neighborhood Association, told Axios.

State of play: Des Moines has had an odor hotline for nearly 30 years. Under Des Moines' current policy, city staff review smell complaints if 10 or more are logged within a six-hour window.

  • Now, Des Moines' Neighborhood Services Department is seeking "environmental expertise" to improve the city's responses to odor complaints.
  • The consulting firm would review complaints over the past two years, plot them on a map and monitor odor levels in certain areas. They'd then compile the data into a report and help the city evaluate how to address the issue.
  • City staff will also be trained in odor science and monitoring under the proposal.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.