Sometimes, when people walk into West Utica Foodland market, they complain to the owners about the smell and say they are going to call the health department.
But Rakesh and Paresha Patel say it’s not their market that is causing the odor that many say suffuses the area near the intersection of Court and Schuyler streets.
It’s the anaerobic digesters at the F.X. Matt Brewing Co.
The digesters, which use byproducts from the brewing process to generate electricity and heat for Matt’s operations, started operating in early 2013. Neighbors say the smell has been there ever since.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s nasty,” said Michael Levesque, who lives with his wife and four young sons along Stark Street. “It smells like backed up sewage. Cow manure is better than that.”
And Frank Ferrone of In Tune Automotive has put a sign on his business saying the smell doesn’t come from his location.
“This has been going on for more than a year and it hasn’t been resolved yet,” Ferrone said.
The situation reached a boiling point at a recent Utica Concerned Citizens meeting, which Matt’s Chairman and CEO Nick Matt attended.