BUCKHANNON — Pesky pigeons have become more than just a nuisance at the Upshur County Courthouse. Their droppings are causing problems with the most iconic feature of the 1899 structure — its dome and cupola.
Commissioner Terry Cutright said, “They are damaging the dome. The feces they are dropping is acidic and we are afraid that it is going to start eating holes in the dome.”
County administrator Carrie Wallace said that comparing photos of the dome and cupola from a year ago to more recent photos is “astounding.”
More pigeons began roosting around the courthouse after their access point to another nearby building was closed off.
To shoo away the pigeons, the commission has tried other measures such as a noise machine.
“The county already purchased a noise machine that was basically guaranteed to take care of the pigeons,” she said. “It has not worked. They basically just moved up a story.
“This is needed to prevent further deterioration of the dome and cupola,” she said. “They have tried other avenues with the pigeons that have not worked. At this point, it’s either install the spikes or have to renovate the dome again in another few years.”
On Thursday, the Upshur County Commission approved a request for proposals to go out for a dome cleaning and pigeon spike installation project.
All sealed bids must be received no later than 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12. For more information and a bid packet, visit www.upshurcounty.org/government/commission–office/bid.php.
“It is estimated that 1,200 linear feet of spikes will be required to do all the locations where the pigeons are perching or could possibly perch on the dome and the cupola,” Wallace said. “There is also the unknown of where the pigeons are going to relocate.”
Maintenance director Greg Harris expects there to be 500 linear feet left over that could do some of the window sills and other areas where the pigeons like to be, including right outside county clerk Carol Smith’s office.
The sealed bids will be opened at the Feb. 14 commission meeting.
The commission also approved a request for bids for the Community Oriented Policing Services camera surveillance project. All sealed bids must be received by 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 and will be opened at the March 7 commission meeting. The Upshur and Lewis County School Systems received a U.S. Department of Justice grant of just over $309,000 to fund the project.
The Upshur County Commission was the applicant for the grant on behalf of the schools.
Commission president Sam Nolte said, “This is a great project; it’s nice that we got the grant.”
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