MorningStar still creating a stink with local residents


Seward area roaster fined by city

Many people love the scent of coffee in the morning — some can’t start their day without it. For some Seward neighbors, however, the odor — in this case, of coffee beans roasting at MorningStar, 2309 Snelling Ave. S. — has been a nuisance for more than a year.

In our August issue, The Bridge reported that MorningStar was to have installed, by July 16, an afterburner that would mitigate the odor, in accordance with an agreement with the city. More than a month and a half later, as this issue went to press, the afterburner had still not been installed, according to MorningStar’s owner, Jose Vido.

Vido said the afterburner took longer to build and ship than expected and that he has had to wait on the gas company to modify MorningStar’s natural gas piping in order to begin operating the afterburner.

“Trust me, I’d like to have [had] this done yesterday if I could,” Vido said. He claimed the unit would be up and running by Aug. 31.

Meanwhile, city staff, who continue to field complaints from MorningStar’s neighbors, appear to be fed up.

“I am especially frustrated that Vido has made commitments to the city in writing, not followed through on them, and not let anyone know that he’s having trouble following through,” said Robin Garwood, council aide to Ward 2 Council Member Cam Gordon, in an email. Garwood said last month that Gordon’s office has received odor complaints about the business for more than a year.

MorningStar has been issued two citations in the amount of $200 each from the city’s environmental management division, in one case for failure to submit proof that the afterburner had been installed. According to Gordon’s office, the fines will continue to double every two weeks, up to $2,000 until the unit is fully operational.

“I’m more than convinced that only citations will produce any meaningful and timely action on MorningStar’s part at this point,” Garwood said.