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Indiana officials renovate ponds to address geese problem

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a southern Indiana town that faced criticism for euthanizing more than 200 Canada geese last year in stormwater ponds adjacent to its town hall campus hope dredging the ponds and other changes will keep the aggressive birds away.

Clarksville's dredging project to remove excess sediment and waste from the ponds is about 90 percent complete, The News and Tribune reported. The Ohio River town is working with Louisville-based Redwing Ecological Services to reconstruct the stormwater retention ponds.

Tall grasses will then be planted along the water's edge to act as a natural deterrent to the geese. A temporary fence will be installed until the grass is fully grown, said town manager Kevin Baity. The grasses can grow up to three feet tall, he said.

The geese can be aggressive, damage property and create sanitary issues by leaving their droppings, city officials said.

The town faced a public outcry after it caught and euthanized between 200 and 250 geese last year.

When Rusty's Animal Control, the town's contractor, recently visited, there were no geese to trap, Baity said. The town is taking a proactive approach to the geese problem through the pond renovations and the vegetation planting, he said.

The project is also increasing the capacity of the city's stormwater collection ponds by modifying their elevation and depth. The whole rehabilitation project will cost an estimated $920,000, Baity said.

Councilman A.D. Stonecipher said he thinks the project is a good investment that will stop future problems on the property.

"It will be a place where geese are encouraged to come, but not to breed and nest." Stonecipher said.


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