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Wasting their time?

September 3, 2012
By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

EAST PALESTINE - Some people in town are ready to serve an eviction to a group that has made itself at home in the park.

Local environmentalist John Herbert said the ducks and geese that have taken up residence on and around the park's pond are a health hazard for the public and a detriment to the park's beauty.

He said the only way to eliminate the problem is to keep people from feeding them, which has been attempted in the past, but to no avail.

"Our city park has laws that say 'No Pets.' But what is a pet but something we feed and care for?" he asked council members last week.

Herbert also said the ducks and geese are a health hazard because they can spread disease through their waste, which often times ends up on football players' uniforms while they practice there.

"How many washings does it take to get the goose (waste) out of the football uniforms?" he said.

He then, much to the amusement of council and those at the meeting, presented Mayor Margo Zuch with a sign he had made that read: "Goose Poo Road."

"If council is unwilling to correct this problem then at least they should tell the truth of what the public is heading for by the erection of this sign," he said, generating a round of applause and laughter from the public.

Zuch and council members thanked Herbert for the sign and appreciated the joke. They then listened to and briefly discussed his suggestion, which was that the pond be drained and filled in and the land turned into a dog exercise park.

The idea of a dog park within the park was suggested by former councilman Scott Rauch in June. At that time council was considering banning dogs from the park due to sanitary and safety reasons. The geese were also briefly discussed at that time.

Council members were in agreement with Herbert that the ducks and geese are a problem at the park but some opposed draining the pond.

"I think it's a beautiful thing from afar, but as a photographer, I don't even use that area anymore because it's disgusting," Councilwoman Endia Wisser said.

She and Councilman Fran Figley opposed draining the pond because it draws people to the park who like to ice skate there in the winter.

Wisser suggested signs be posted to prohibit people from feeding the ducks and geese, prompting a short discussion among council as to how the posted rule would be enforced.

Village Solicitor Shirley Smith said in order for the rule to be enforced council would need to approve an ordinance. Council then asked her to prepare an ordinance that would be voted on at the next meeting.

Wisser also suggested a sign be posted warning park-goers to ice skate at their own risk.



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