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Turkey vultures causing big stink in Harrisonville

It’s not the Harrisonville water tower itself causing the smell but what perches on top. Up to 60 turkey vultures circle the tower at dusk.
The neighbors have been living with the smell every summer for about five years. The birds are protected.

HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) –

There is something causing a big stink south of the metro that has neighbors constantly cleaning up a nasty mess.

It’s not the Harrisonville water tower itself causing the smell but what perches on top. Up to 60 turkey vultures circle the tower at dusk.

Naomi Hargis wants them gone. She lives right across the street.

"They’re dirty for one thing," Hargis explains.

Evidence of the mess they make is peppered on sidewalks.

"Just something rotten. Just something dead," she said. "My driveway is usually always splattered, and the smell is terrible," Hargis said.

Hargis keeps her windows and doors shut tight, but the smell seeps through.

"It seems like when I want to eat … I get hungry, but I can’t eat because it seems like I can taste it," she said.

Her next door neighbor, Gail Geyer, doesn’t mind the buzzards. She even collects their feathers for her scrap book.

"I don’t have any problem with them. They don’t come in my trees. I’ve never had a spot on my car, they don’t take anything from my yard. They don’t approach you," Geyer said.

And what about the smell? Geyer admits, it does get pretty bad.

"In the summer when it’s real, real hot, but then I go inside where it’s cool," Geyer said.

Geyer said she is not holding her breath for them to leave soon, but Hargis will be.

"It just makes you feel sick and nauseated," Hargis said.

The neighbors have been living with the smell every summer for about five years. The birds are protected.

However, there is one harmless solution to get them to go away. Public works crews are going to install LED lighting below the water tower to deter them from roosting.

There are also talks of also placing a replica of vultures on the tower to scare them off.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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