The proof is in the pudding. In this case, the pudding is the air that wafts gently in, around and through Sunnyside.
The removal of the cattle from nearby Monson feedlot, and the subsequent removal of the manure-laden top soil, has resulted in an air quality that nearly all Sunnyside residents have come to appreciate.
We have heard numerous comments from local citizens, many of whom reside atop Harrison Hill (which overlooks the feedlot), and the overwhelming message is that they can now enjoy the outdoors on a daily basis-whether barbecuing, playing badmitton or croquet in the back yard, or just sitting out on the patio in lawn chairs.
Sunnyside, for years, has been referred to as Smellyside by many who pass through our community. And rightly so. Bluntly put, the urine and manure odor that permeated our community on an almost daily basis often times was repugnant enough to choke a horse. Thankfully, Smellyside is a nickname that won't be with us for very long.
The people responsible for upgrading our air quality, simply put, are the members of the Sunnyside City Council. They are the ones who prompted City Manager Bob Stockwell to work out a deal with the Monson family, a deal others before him were unable to put together. To Stockwell's credit, he forged a purchase agreement with the Monson family, one which apparently both the city and the feedlot owners could live with. Because of Mr. Stockwell's negotiating abilities, the people of Sunnyside are the beneficiaries.
Some in the community have argued that the $2.5 million purchase price for the feedlot property was too steep, especially considering that the money was in essence taxpayer dollars. It's true, the city's coffers are much lower. But from a financial standpoint, is the city all that worse off? We think not. Besides, what price can you put on the air all of us in the community breath day in and day out?
The one major downside to all of this is that Sunnyside is losing one of its larger employers. Local jobs will be lost, as will the goods and services that the Monson family purchased regularly in our community. Any time a business shuts down in a community, especially one the size of the Monson feedlot operation, it is not a good thing. We have always believed that communities should do all they can to foster business, and towards that end we, along with many others in the community, wish the Monson family the best in their future endeavors.
But when looking at the overall picture, and weighed against the overall benefits from an air quality standpoint, we believe Sunnyside can sustain the economic hit of losing the Monson feedlot business and be better off for it.
. Editorials reflect the opinions of the Daily Sun News' editorial staff, not necessarily those of any one single person working at the Daily Sun News.