HUNTSVILLE – Spikes and trapping have failed, so it’s time for round three.
The Huntsville general committee voted in favour on May 25 of purchasing a net with an estimated cost of between $10,000 and $14,000 in order to keep pigeons out of the entrance to the Canada Summit Centre. This is the third time this issue has come before councillors since December of last year and all previous methods to keep pigeons out of the area have failed.
The last time the pigeon problem was raised council approved an $850-a-month plan to trap and relocate the birds. That plan was never implemented due to the contractor wanting to operate the relocation program for longer than council was willing to fund it.
Brian Crozier, town property manager, said at this point removing nests has only led to the pigeons becoming more entrenched in the building.
“I would really like to never come back and speak at this table about this issue again. Anything we can do from a permanent stand point would be great.”
– Brian Crozier
“The dormers seem to have been the staging area and as we’ve been pushing them, they’ve been moving further and further back into the building and finding other nesting areas on the site as well. We’ve been finding nests on the roof, in the gutters. We’ve actually pushed pigeons to the back of the building. The process we’ve started has just started,” said Crozier.
Councillors favoured the net option, as they believed trapping the birds could just lead to endless expense on the matter with no real end. Crozier pointed out the net would likely mean the birds would move to other locations in town, like the front of the Active Living Centre.
The Town of Bracebridge reportedly successfully dealt with their pigeon problem after a pigeon relocation program that trapped 400 to 500 birds in a year.
One of the town’s earlier attempts to keep the birds out was to spend around $10,000 to install spikes along the lights and surfaces in the entranceway. That proved ineffective as, according to staff, the pigeons would just push them aside.
Councillor Bob Stone repeated his criticism that the town had not been properly maintaining the spikes installed in the area.
Huntsville mayor Scott Aitchison said he hopes the net will solve the pigeon problem once and for all.
“We’ve spent, it looks like, $5,000 this year and $5,000 next year for the pigeon relocation program. Why don’t we finally spend $10,000 to $15,000 and put the nets up so we never have to spend it again,” said Aitchison.
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