City Council choose poison option to deal with pigeon problem.
At the risk of ruffling the feathers of local bird lovers, the Hannibal City Council has decided that poison would be the best method to deal the city's growing pigeon population.
Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Knickerbocker recommended that the city work with local media outlets to alert the public when the poisoning process begins "so people are aware."
Councilman Mike Dobson stressed that the action is being taken out of health concerns, noting that pigeon feces can be a carrier of potentially fatal illnesses such as E. coli.
To deal with the birds the Council chose the faster and less expensive option.
City officials interviewed representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services about the job. The USDA acknowledged that its use of pellet guns would take longer to deal with the problem. Its cost would have been $6,750 for 20 eight-hour visits.
Hired instead will be Reliable Pest Control, which will charge $3,560 for eight weeks of initial service, plus an additional $720 for 28 days of follow-up maintenance.
Dobson recommended, and the Council approved, a six-month contract with Reliable which will start off by establishing feeding stations atop eight different buildings. On the fifth week instead of corn, a fast-acting poison - Avitrol - will be put out.
The poison is so potent that birds will literally be falling from the sky. On Tuesday night, it was proposed that teams of city employees be used to help gather the dead and dying birds.
In other business:
• A change order for the Downtown Sidewalk Project was approved. The $26,312 expense will cover the cost of conduit, wiring and festival boxes to be installed at the foot of tree boxes in the 100 through 300 block of North Main Street.
• The Police Department was given permission to accept a bid of $16,190 from Peters Heating & Air Conditioning for the removal of the police station's old boiler system and installation of a new system. Peters' bid was the lowest of two received.
• A contract with Next 2 Nothing Design worth $3,660 was approved. The fee will cover the cost of layout and design of the 2013 Hannibal Visitor Guide. It was the low bid of two submitted.
• First reading was given an ordinance granting a natural gas franchise to Liberty Energy (Midstates) Corp.
• First reading was given a bill revising the city's credit card use policy.
• Approval was given to staging a Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 10.
• Jack Herring was reappointed to the Hannibal Municipal Assistance Corporation for a term to expire in June, 2015.