NEW CUMBERLAND — While the sight of pigeons may be nice to some, for others, including city officials, it has created cause for safety and structural concern to some of the buildings.
The topic of pigeons was discussed during last week’s City Council meeting. Several dozen of the birds often are spotted sitting along rooftops of buildings and other structures throughout the city.
Mayor Linda McNeil said she has often seen the pigeons — on one occasion numbering close to 100 — waiting for food. She also acknowledges the risk of structural damage to buildings, along with safety and health concerns, for residents due to the pigeons.
“There are, probably the last time I looked at them and saw them, there’s probably a hundred pigeons roosting on top of a building waiting to be fed,” McNeil said. “And they go down to be fed and come up and they wait until the next feeding.
“In the meantime, they roost on that one building and neighboring buildings, and it causes property damages to the roofs and to cars, and it’s just a big health concern.”
McNeil said council will need to look into ways to have property owners and landlords be more responsible in preventing the property damage and health issues due to the pigeons.
In a separate matter, but related to safety issues, council is in the process of creating a new ordinance, which requires an occupied residence in the city to have electric, gas (or both), water, trash pick-up service and sewer service.
“There are buildings here that have people living in them who sometimes have no water, sometimes use generators for their electricity, and for safety issues, we have to assume our responsibility in creating this ordinance and saying, ‘If there is an occupied residence in our city limits, it has to have electric, gas or both, water, trash pick-up and sewer service.”
McNeil said in the ordinance, in the early stages, building owners and landlords can face fines for being in noncompliance.
Meanwhile, another building that was brought up for discussion was right down the road the funeral home, that being the current New Cumberland Municipal Building.
Prior to serving as headquarters for city hall, the building served as the former New Cumberland School — which housed classes for students in first through 12th grade — and had been taken over by the city following the school’s closure, with many of the rooms rented out to businesses.
McNeil said council will need to make a decision regarding the building’s future noting the upcoming departure of the Hancock County Board of Education.
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