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June 19, 2014

Clarksville could spend big bucks to remove goose droppings on town hall ground

Removing the goose waste could cost up to $100,000

CLARKSVILLE — The retaining ponds near Clarksville Town Hall present an ideal habitat for the discerning goose looking to raise a family. The grass near the ponds is well maintained, offering clear sight lines to identify potential predators. The waters of the ponds are perfect for teaching young geese to swim, while the grounds are generally flat and safe to walk upon without damaging tiny webbed feet.

Yes, the Clarksville Town Hall complex is great for geese. But the geese aren’t any good for the complex, and now town leaders are mulling a plan to rid the grounds of waterfowl, a plan that could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The reason: Goose droppings. They’re everywhere, said town Project Coordinator Brittany Montgomery. Goose droppings have contaminated the waters of the ponds, while the grass is so inundated with goose poop that lawn care requires extra safety equipment.

“When [workers] mow [the grass], it’s a cloud of goose manure,” said Parks Director Brian Kaluzny.

The problem is “almost a public health issue,” Montgomery said.

“It’s really unsanitary, to the point where they mow the lawn or do any type of yard work out there, they have to wear a mask, because the stuff could get into their lungs,” Montgomery said.

The Clarksville Town Council heard one option for dealing with the goose problem at a work session Monday but took no action, as the councilmen are waiting to hear some alternatives. The proposal from Redwing Ecological Services Inc. would cost $5,900 for preliminary design options on modifications to the complex’s landscape, and an additional $14,000 for a final design ready to be bid out.

Design modification options would include the planting of bushes or tall grass by the ponds, adding pebbles to the shores of the detention basins or even installing special lights and sirens that would startle the birds.

Should the town council go with Redwing’s proposal, it could cost thousands more to implement the company’s recommendations. Montgomery estimated that it could cost anywhere from an additional $20,000 to an additional $100,000, and said that dealing with the problem is worth the cost.

“We’d be looking at a long-term solution and not just a short, quick fix to the geese issue,” she said.

Regardless of whether or not the town council deals with the geese, Montgomery said the goose feces in the detention ponds should be addressed, as the water from the ponds is so contaminated it can’t be used for irrigation, she said. Montgomery estimates that the town could save up to $5,000 per year on its American Water bill if the detention ponds are cleaned.

 

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Barbara Brewster has been the organ player at Faith Lutheran Church in Jeffersonville for the past 50 years. Brewster began playing organ with the church in August of 1964 at the age of 17.

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