Resident lodges complaints against Del Monte Meats

POSTED: 02:11 PM MST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 10:57 PM MST Nov 13, 2013 
POCATELLO, Idaho -

Del Monte Meats in Pocatello has had complaints made by a neighbor who wished to not be identified. Many of the complaints were serious, including an accusation of slaughtering animals on-site.

The neighbor said the problems have been ongoing for years, and has turned Del Monte in to Pocatello Code Enforcement, but there haven't been any changes. However, Pocatello Code Enforcement said they have not found any reason to issue a citation, as Del Monte has been cooperative when Code Enforcement has addressed a problem.

"They've complied within a short amount of time," said Code Enforcement officer Steve Hieb. He said a recent complaint was in regard to blocked sidewalks. "When I made contact with them, whether that be personal, calling them or sending a letter, they were corrected in a timely fashion."

Del Monte owner Tony Giesbrecht said he has to find a balance every day, with their orders, which increase this time each year, their catering and their lack of room.

"I certainly apologize for any offense we have done," Giesbrecht said. "Sometimes our life is so busy here, we're just trying to keep our head above water. I don't intentionally try to be offensive, that's for sure."

Giesbrecht said he's wanted to move for several years, but has so far not found any lender willing to take a risk on his butcher and catering business.

He also addressed a complaint from the anonymous neighbor regarding an accusation that Del Monte killed sheep on-site. Giesbrecht said they have never slaughtered any animals at the store, and people from out of town brought them to the shop.

"They brought them here and we penned them in our livestock trailer until we could take them out to a farm to harvest them," Giesbrecht said.

Many of the complaints come from the animal bones and carcasses outside the property. Giesbrecht said it's a valid complaint, but doesn't happen very often. He said it comes back to the large number of orders they receive, and even having their garbage dumped once a day is sometimes not enough.

"At home, you might put all the cluttery stuff on the backside of the house," Giesbrecht said. "I don't have that option here. I wish I did. Maybe someday I will."

But the biggest complaint comes from the neighbor saying that Code Enforcement comes, the issue is cleaned up but it doesn't stay that way.

"With Del Monte, I haven't had that issue," Hieb said. "Does it continue to happen? Maybe. But when it does and when I see it, I address the issue."

Another factor to consider is that Del Monte is a grandfathered business. Some of the newer rules that apply to newer businesses may not apply to them. Giesbrecht acknowledged this and said they do their best to comply with all regulations they are aware of, and generally do their best to keep things clean.

Hieb said when it comes to any type of neighbor dispute, it's best to speak with your neighbor before going to Code Enforcement.