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Irwindale's city council moves vote on Sriracha nuisance charge to May 28

Commenters warned that the area's 15% unemployment rate will suffer more if Sriracha shuts down.
Commenters warned that the area's 15% unemployment rate will suffer more if Sriracha shuts down.
Don Simkovich

Mayor to Meet Sriracha Owner

Sriracha Hot Sauce is not an official pest in Irwindale, at least not yet. At the May 14 council meeting the matter was continued until May 28 when a final vote will determine if a resolution passes to declare the company a public nuisance.

Irwindale's mayor, Mark Breceda, said he first wants to meet with David Tran along with a delegation from the governor's office to see how the problem can be solved. He invited any interested parties to join the conversation.

Prior to the meeting, consultant and Irwindale's community development director Gus Romo said the city had about 85 calls from residents and some complaints came from neighboring Baldwin Park. He declined to say how much Huy Fong Foods might have to spend to correct the problem saying it's up to the business owner to mitigate.

Public Economic Concerns

During public comments, resident Fred Barbosa warned the council that passing a resolution against the company will erode the city's tax base. He said in the 65 years he's lived in the town that the former Conrac plant used to cover residents in particulates but they took it in stride. Another resident stated that Huy Fong Foods took in $53 million dollars in 2013 and has the money to fix the problem.

"There could be long-term damage to the city if the business is found to be a nuisance," said Bob Machuca, the senior regional manager serving the San Gabriel Valley for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). He said a nuisance resolution continues the image that Los Angeles County and California are bad for business.

Others questioned why lawmakers from Texas took the initiative to meet with David Tran before local council members and warned that Sriracha may stay in Irwindale but will expand by opening facilities in other states.

The next action will be listed on the city's website and scheduled for May 28, 6:30 pm at the Irwindale City Council Chambers, 5050 Irwindale Avenue.

Economic facts on Irwindale can be found on USA City Facts.

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