Residents Concerned Over Smell

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ASHLAND, Ore. — A business in Ashland is causing a stink – literally. Nearby businesses and a school say they are not sure what is going on at the property, but there is a stench that can be smelled for blocks.

The place is owned by the Croman Corporation and is being contracted out to Johnny Cat Excavators out of Jacksonville. A Johnny Cat employee says the piles consist of bark from trees. They are breaking down the bark and turning it into mulch.

Residents and businesses in the area say the process smells, and a nearby school is concerned the smell could be toxic. Ashland Fire and Rescue says they are not aware of any hazards.

They say the company has followed the fire code procedures in place, and that the land is zoned to be a mill, so there is nothing that can be done.

‚ÄúThis is a process and a product we see in other locations in the county. It is a fairly normal type product that we go and we pay for it. We buy that kind of stuff to make our garden and our grass greener,” explained Margueritte Hickman, with Ashland Fire and Rescue.

The piles look like they are smoking or steaming, but that is all part of the organic breakdown process. NewsWatch 12 did reach out to Johnny Cat Excavation about the site, and they said they had no comment.


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  1. Grizzly says:

    Come ON Ashland, really???!! It’s called a Mill, and they have been there since before I was born. I attended Bellview Elementary and am still alive and healthy. God forbid there was bark debris and lumber processing on the property next door, your little dog must now be so offended these days! So what if it is sour smelling at times (although i suppose your zen is off by a touch now :( )
    The mill is natural and necessary.- I am sure your precious lifestyle of 6 whole years here in the valley won’t have to suffer.
    Light a kale candle and relax. Go outside and play. All will be well.
    Hard to imagine how this even made the news.

  2. James Smith says:

    I also went to Bellview back when there were four wigwam burners going twenty four hours a day at the saw mills across the back field. Somehow I found it hard to believe there are adults teaching school who don’t know what a compost pile is, that’s all these wood chips are. The fact that the old log decks are being cleaned up and a good gardening product recovered should be thought of as a good thing, not something to complain about. There were three saw mills over there across the back field when I was a kid and another down Tolman where Bi-Mart is now.

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