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Town Passes Pigeon Penalty;
Feathered Feeders Face Fine
by Maricia Mlynek

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Grantsville town council met in the courthouse little courtroom on Monday at 7 p.m.

The second reading of an ordinance regarding a $100 fine for feeding pigeons was held and voted on. There was a great deal of discussion about the law. Council members said the following:

Helen Jordan: “People have called me saying things like, ‘Why is the council worrying about the pigeons when there are so many other problems and how can we enforce such a law’.”

Connie Schoolcraft: “We have a responsibility to the town and its people. We are just trying to take care of our businesses and this concern.”

 Katheryn Kerby: “No one has called me. If there is any person in here that would like to have pigeons on their roof, raise your hand.”

Dorothy McCauley: “The pigeons are a concern with businesses that have flat roofs especially. Drains are being blocked and possibly vents.”

Loretta Stevens (the only member to abstain from the first reading): “It would be better if we could have the pigeons removed in a humane way. The animal lovers that fed the pigeons have stopped since the last meeting. Can’t we just figure out a way to get rid of the pigeons?”

Knight said that the ordinance was not against any individual, animal lovers, or bird feeders: “The ordinance is a deterrent to feeding pigeons. The primary concern is in the pigeons and the mess they leave. They cause problems and can carry diseases. The council is simply trying to rid the town of more possible problems that the birds can create. Yes, this law will be difficult to enforce. It is not like we are planning to arrest everyone with a bird feeder in town. We just want any deliberate feedings to stop.”

Four council members voted in favor, and Loretta Stevens voted against the ordinance.

With approval of the second reading, Ordinance: Section 9-32 became a law: It shall be a violation of this municipal ordinance for any individual to deliberately feed and/or harbor pigeons within the municipal limits of the Town of Grantsville. Any individual cited for this violation is subject to a fine of $100 per violation.

Council approved prepared budgets for the Sewer and Water departments and a renewal of a CD for $5,000.

Mayor Gary Knight reported that the sewer project is underway, with advertising for bids beginning this week. Pre-bid conference will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12, at 2 p.m. Bids will be opened Sept. 2 at 2 p.m.

He also expressed appreciation for the work Energy Express had performed around town.

“It is good to see young people show genuine interest about the town and future projects,” said Knight. “The volunteers were Amy Nicholas, Kim Cottrell, Tessa Batten, Kayla Hixon, Angela Kisner, Maria Kisner, Brook Turner and Kayla Wilson. The VFW also placed a new flag pole in the town park and we would like to thank them.”

Kerby read a list of citizen complaints that included: a drain at the corner of Napa, the maintenance of sidewalks, the wall in front of Calhoun Realty, and money for schooling that should be returned by former officer Jeff Starcher.

Knight said he would check on the drain issue and that the money owed by Starcher was also being looked into. He said that the wall is a concern, but responsibility for it had not been decided. Frank Venezia was to look into it and find information for the town. Peter Cobbett would be requested to take a look at it too.

After some discussion, council approved a resolution to comply with an ordinance for a drug-free work place .

Grantsville Police Dept. law enforcement report for July was as follows: 39 calls for service, 39 citizen contacts, 4 criminal investigations opened, 1 citizen ordinance violation, 4 warnings for traffic stops, 2 citations for traffic stops, 3 K-9 calls for service, and 6 arrests: 4 failures to appear (Wood and Calhoun capiases), domestic battery, breach of peace (summons served), brandishing (DPS warrant), DUI, no insurance, expired operators (DPS warrant), and possession of marijuana <15 grams (citation issued).

Municipal court judge Jacob McCumbers gave no July report.

After a motion to pay bills, council adjourned at 8:05 p.m. The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m.

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