CHILLICOTHE – A downtown building owner has reached out to city officials in hopes they will take action to deal with pigeons in the area, although one city councilwoman says the issue appears to be one that won’t be solved anytime soon.
Cam Shipley, who owns the structure known as the Warner Hotel that spans from 27-37 N. Paint St., approached city officials earlier this week about his concerns about pigeons in the area. He said he wants an ordinance drafted because he isn’t permitted to kill the birds and referred to them as being “a real health issue.”
Shipley said he has tried to deter pigeons through various means, including noisemakers, chemicals being sprayed and plastic owls being displayed. Shipley addressed a city committee on Monday about the issue.
“The fact that they’re even talking about it is interesting because you’re going to find that there are animal activists that say, ‘No, you shouldn’t kill anything’ and I agree, I agree with it, but they don’t have the problems we have and they don’t have the serious health issues from the droppings that are all over the building all over town,” Shipley said.
Currently, Shipley has a net above his building to deter the birds and believes once the Carlisle Building opens for business later this fall, pigeons will be a problem there as well. Shipley is also considering an electrical deterrent on the building, adding that he is looking at other alternatives in the meantime and hopes the city will take some action on the matter in the next year or two.
Still, he stressed that he thinks downtown Chillicothe has a bright future ahead of itself and thinks pigeons continue to be an issue until some solution is found to control them. Bob Etling, who owns a building located on West Second Street, is in favor of controlling pigeons and suggested having a few hawks in the downtown area to get rid of them.
“That’s the natural solution,” Etling said.
But City Councilwoman Beth Neal said she thinks the pigeon issue won’t go away anytime soon.
She said officials will explore what has worked in other locations to deal with pigeons, but stressed that it appears there isn’t much the city can do in the meantime.
“It’s an ongoing problem that will never be solved and all we can do is try to find a humane way to control the pigeons, to make sure we’re not doing anything to encourage them to roost there,” Neal said. “Our goal is to see how we can help downtown building owners. It’s not a problem we’re going to resolve.”
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