The city of South Sioux City’s settlement agreement was rejected
by David Domina of the Domina Law Group and Brian E. Buckmeier, an attorney
in Sioux City, who represent more than 20 of the residents displaced by
noxious sewer orders.
According to report, the agreement would have allowed residents to stay
in their temporary housing in local hotels previously financed by Big
Ox Energy, the company responsible for the odors, but they would have
needed to sign a confidentiality agreement with the city.
Some of the displaced residents had been staying at local hotels like the
Candlewood Suites and the Marina Inn since October of 2017, but Big Ox
Energy stopped covering their bills on Tuesday, February 14. When Domina
and Buckmeier informed city attorney Wayne Boyd that they were rejecting
the offer on Monday, they noted that several items in the proposed agreement
needed to be addressed before A deal could be made.
South Sioux City mayor Rod Koch commented on the city’s offer in
“The gist of it is the city of South Sioux City will come in —
and some details will be worked out — but to go in your house, try
to work with you, try to fix, try to help you get where you need to be,”
he said. “There’s some things that need to be discussed, obviously,
and we are open to discussing things.”
The floor was open to public comments following Koch’s statements,
during which time displaced resident Kirk Campbell said that he previously
approached the city back in November to perform tests on his home’s
drywall, but never received a response. Councilman Dennis Nelson asked
whether he would allow the city to perform those requested tests now.
“Not now,” Campbell said. “I don’t trust anybody
Campbell’s distrust extended beyond the city. When Nelson asked if
he would allow a neutral third party to perform those tests rather than
someone from Big Ox Energy or the city, Campbell responded that:
“I don’t trust Big Ox or the city. There was a time for that,
three months ago, three and half months ago.”