As a former long-time resident of Wahpeton who enjoys returning on occasion. I am impressed with the many positive changes in the community; the business fronts on Dakota Avenue, new restaurants, new school and additions to NDSCS, not to mention how well the beautiful park and zoo have been maintained. City leaders have obviously worked hard to sustain a viable community.
Unfortunately, one thing hasn’t changed. The smell! Decades ago when I moved to Wahpeton I inquired to locals about it. Some said with a smirk, “it’s the smell of money.” Others just grumbled, “beet plant.”
For decades Minn Dak officials have assured the public of plans to eliminate the odor. Yet for decades it has persisted. Never has the issue been more glaring than this past weekend as Wahpeton hosted the State 14 Year Old Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament. During the semi-final game on Sunday between Wahpeton and Jamestown, some of the Jamestown fans watched the action with their shirts pulled up over their noses in an effort to “filter” the stench drifting across John Randall Field. When one of the fans covering their nose was told it was, “the smell of money,” they didn’t seem impressed.
Ironically, last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. NASA tells us that mission was accomplished with technology less sophisticated than that in our cars today. Certainly, 50 years after man first walked on the moon, the technology exists to solve Minn Dak’s odor problems. Perhaps, if the Minn Dak CEO resided in Wahpeton, instead of Fergus Falls, and had to live with what the good people of Wahpeton live with, things might change.