Business that doesn't pass neighbors' smell test is suing Mount Prospect

A livestock feed manufacturer that has stirred up odor complaints over the past four years is suing Mount Prospect to stop the village from taking steps that could lead to its closure.

Prestige Feed Products, 431 Lakeview Court, has been the source of complaints from residents who say its process of using leftover cheese and soy byproducts to make feed has created an unpleasant smell in their neighborhood near the Kensington Business Center.

"It smelled like burnt cheese," said Ron Stillmaker, who lives across the Des Plaines border in the Longford Glen subdivision.

Prestige has installed odor mitigation equipment and commissioned studies of the odors' impact, but the complaints continue.

"Come this January is when it really got bad again," said neighbor Mary Beth Stillmaker.

It isn't just neighbors who are complaining.

"We also have adjacent businesses that find it highly objectionable," said Village Manager Michael Cassady, adding that the business' operations could continue while its lawsuit against the village proceeds.

Besides the village, the suit names Cassady, Mayor Paul Hoefert, Community Development Director Bill Cooney and Director of Building and Inspection Services Bill Schroeder as defendants.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Cook County court on Prestige's request for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the village from issuing a "cease-and-desist" order and revoking its business license and occupancy permit.

The suit states that the village is threatening to revoke the license and permit on Friday, claiming that Prestige is a "nuisance."

The suit states Prestige stands to default on its contract orders and rent obligations, as well as lose its nearly $3 million investment in the facility, while plant workers would lose jobs.

"We're hoping that we can see eye to eye and work things out with the village and be a good citizen and a good neighbor," Prestige attorney Riccardo DiMonte said.

The village served Prestige with notice in April that it was terminating a March 2021 agreement and that it would attempt to resolve disputes without litigation. That agreement had been set to expire in December.

"That was negotiated because we wanted to give them time to get their filtration equipment working appropriately," Cassady said.

"We finally got to a point where we didn't think it was possible," for the plant to operate without bothering neighbors and businesses, he added.

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