High River council was greeted with an overflowing council chamber at Monday's meeting.

The crowd was there to hear about mitigation measures to deal with what many of them called the overwhelming stench from Rimrock Feeders all summer.

Mayor Craig Snodgrass says from the time Western Feedlots has been in place there's always been an occasional odour.

"There has been a change to the intensity of the smell, there's no question there and nobody can say there hasn't been, if you've been in High River then you do notice the intensity of the smell," he says.

He says the only thing the town can really do is to bring forward the concerns of its citizens to Rimrock and see if they can work with the company to alleviate the bad odour.

"As far as the permitting and the operations of Rimrock, no, the Town of High River has absolutely no stroke in being able to tell them what they can and can't do, but what's apparent from the time that Western Feedlots was operating High River always had, every now and then there was a smell that came into the town from a feedlot operation that big. But we understand there's been a change to the intensity of the smell, there's no question there," the mayor says.

He wants to work with Rimrock to see what can be done but admits it's up to the NRCB, the Natural Resources Conservation Board to set out the rules that feedlots operate under.

Representatives of Rimrock Feeders made a presentation to council outlining the steps they've taken to try and mitigate the smell.

They say the rain in June was a big factor because they usually are able to collect the manure and spread it on fields but couldn't do that, so it was collected and stored.

They also pointed out they're limited as to when it can be spread, before seeding and after harvest.

Work on a bio-digester, which would "digest" the manure and turn it into gas that can be sold isn't expected to start until January of 2024.

Councillor Michael Nychyk appreciated information from Rimrock about its positive economic contributions to the town but admitted the town and Rimrock are a long way from being able to deal with the odour problem at this point.

About a half dozen residents of the town were able to ask council questions, with most calling out their frustrations going from the town to Foothills County to the NRCB and Alberta Environment without any solutions.

Town council plans to tour the feedlot in the coming days and Mayor Snodgrass says representatives of the Natural Resources Conservation Board will be appearing as a delegation at council's next meeting on September 26.

He invited members of the public to come back to that meeting as well.

Representatives of Rimrock Feeders appeared before High River Council MondayRepresentatives of Rimrock Feeders appeared before High River Council Monday