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Sriracha Factory Gets Another Reprieve

Sriracha Factory Gets Another Reprieve
David Salafia/Twitter

You have to wonder what kind of game city of Irwindale leaders are playing here.

First they invited Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods to drop anchor in their town, which it did. Then they took the factory to court over the smell of its chili processing. After warning that the hot-sauce maker could be declared a public nuisance over the alleged stink, the City Council backed off in February. Then, weeks later, it did initially vote to declare it a public nuisance.

And then, last night, the City Council backed off again. You keeping up?

The body was scheduled to reaffirm its vote to declare Huy Fong a public a funk-emitting nuisance, but instead it voted to delay the decision for two weeks during which time the City Attorney and Huy Fong CEO David Tran would try to work out a deal.

Why, after giving the factory a hard time for months, is the city suddenly willing to make a deal? It's not clear, but we do know that last week Tran finally opened the door to leaving Irwindale.

Politicians from Texas to the San Fernando Valley have vowed to roll out the red carpet for the rooster sauce maker.

Maybe Irwindale is jealous.

See also: Sriracha Factory Considers Moving as San Fernando Valley Beckons

There are strange things happening in the small, industrial town in the San Gabriel Valley. Huy Fong says the original odor complaints were coming from only four nearby households, one of which includes a relative of city Councilman Hector Ortiz, who admits he also owns property adjacent to the salsa maker.

The city itself controls land nearby too.

Two others on the City Council -  Mark Breceda and Manuel Garcia - are being prosecuted by the L.A. County District Attorney's office for allegedly spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on "lavish" travel.

The City Council only has five members.

See also: Sriracha Factory Considers Moving as San Fernando Valley Beckons

Then there was word that the city is in the process of peddling Huy Fong-adjacent property to a waste management facility. And the City Council is concerned about odor?

Even with a possible 90 days to clean up its smell, Huy Fong would be hard pressed to do so: Its chili crushing season, when that smell happens, is in fall.

With reporting from City News Service. Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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