HAMMOND | City officials plan on meeting with the operator of a Gary composting plant later this week, hoping to put an end to a potent odor throughout Hessville.

But if a solution cannot be agreed upon, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said he will request the city take legal action to stop the smell.

McDermott said he scheduled the meeting with the owners of Lake County Compost, a yard waste conversion facility located north of 169th Street on the Gary side of Cline Avenue. McDermott said he hopes to figure out how to quell an odor coming from the plant and its large mounds of grass clippings and plant matter.

Officials from the compost facility did not respond to several requests for comment from The Times.

McDermott said there is no doubt in his mind the plant is the source of the foul smell.

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"Some people mixed up the Gary plant with the East Chicago plant," McDermott said. "I drove around one day. It was coming from the Gary side."

The problem was brought to McDermott's attention by 6th District City Councilman Homero "Chico" Hinojosa.

Hinojosa has described the odor as the "most unbearable smell anyone should have to put up with."

Hinojosa said McDermott, state Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, and others have visited the councilman's home recently to get a whiff for themselves.

The councilman said he plans on using some of his district's casino revenue to create a dedicated hot line to record complaints around the clock and purchase magnets residents can put on their refrigerators letting them know who to call if they smell something strange.

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