Clarksville seeks answers as geese foul town hall

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. - A southern Indiana community is considering spending tens of thousands of dollars to rid itself of a nuisance that's making visitors to its town hall watch where they step.

Geese have claimed the retaining ponds near Clarksville Town Hall as the perfect spot to live and raise their young. The well-maintained grass makes potential predators easily visible, and the smooth grounds are safe to walk on. The ponds serve as the perfect place for the young geese to learn to swim.

But where there's a goose, there's goose poop. Project Coordinator Brittany Montgomery told the News and Tribune (http://bit.ly/1qhXFwO ) that the droppings have contaminated the ponds and forced lawn workers to use extra safety equipment.

"When (workers) mow (the grass), it's a cloud of goose manure," Parks Director Brian Kaluzny said.

"It's really unsanitary, to the point where they mow the lawn or do any type of yard work out there, they have to wear a mask, because the stuff could get into their lungs," Montgomery added.

The Clarksville Town Council is considering a proposal from Redwing Ecological Services that would modify the landscape at the municipal complex by planting bushes or tall grass near the ponds, adding pebbles to the shores or installing devices that would startle the birds.

Montgomery estimated the proposal could cost up to $100,000 to implement but thinks the expense is well worth it.

The problem is "almost a public health issue," she said. "We'd be looking at a long-term solution and not just a short, quick fix to the geese issue," she said.

Council members say they want to explore other options as well.

In the meantime, Montgomery is asking the town to rid the ponds of goose feces. She said the town could save up to $5,000 a year on its water bill if the ponds are cleaned and can be used for irrigation.

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., http://www.newsandtribune.com

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