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Fed up with pesky birds, council acts

 

Buzzards beware. The Town of Halifax has set its sights on the nasty birds that have plagued the town for some time now.

 

Town citizens won’t have to worry about the pesky buzzards too much longer after council authorized Town Manager Carl Espy to apply for a deprivation permit at the request of Animal Control Warden Todd Moser and Halifax Police Chief Kevin Lands.

The action came during a special called meeting of council Tuesday night in Halifax Town Hall.

 According to Animal Control Warden Todd Moser, the permit will be good for an entire year allowing the town to get rid of the buzzards. 

Council applies for the permit through the U. S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues the permit, Moser said. 

Once the application and appropriate form is filed stating the number of buzzards plaguing the area, who will be responsible for killing the buzzards and the proposed method to be used for eradication, it will take 60 days to receive the permit. 

Also outlined on the form are the hazards, damages and threats the buzzards present to the town.

Moser said some options for disposing of the buzzards include having police kill them with the assistance of animal control or hiring a private company to perform the task. 

The permit will allow for only a percentage of the birds to be killed, Moser said, adding, most off the time it’s 10 percent.

The permit does not allow the public to kill buzzards.

Moser said between 500 to 600 buzzards can be found at any given time in the town limits, and his office receives about 15 to 20 complaints a month. 

However, because buzzards are protected under federal law, before any action can be taken, the state fish and wildlife service has to grant permission.

It is very rare anyone gets turned down for one of these permits, he added.

Some of the buzzards’ favorite hangouts include Gatha’s Trail, Hedderly Street, Academy Street, Canterbury Drive, around the old Halifax Elementary School, behind the Cozy Cottage and behind the jail.

The green boxes behind the jail attract the buzzards, Moser said suggesting council consider moving the boxes to another location.

County Administrator Jim Halasz is looking at a sight near the old Burlington property as an alternate location for the green boxes, and Espy told council he plans to further discuss options for the alternative location with the county administrator.

Currently, Lands said officers are using bird bang guns to scare the buzzards away, but that just moves them to another location in the town.

In other action Tuesday night, newly appointed Ward A council member Janice Powell was sworn into office by Judge Joel C. Cunningham.  

Powell is filling the seat left vacant by former Councilman Tom Brown who resigned at the end of June due to family health problems. Powell is a resident of Hedderly Street and has had over 40 years of experience in education.

Also Tuesday night council approved both of the planning commission’s special use permit recommendations for Ollie’s Mobile Hot Dog Cart and Ronnie Duffey’s home operation.

According Larry Elam, owner of Ollie’s Southern Café and Ollie’s Mobile Hot Dog Cart, the cart will be located in the parking lot of the old Exxon station beside town hall and will offer standard hot dogs, all beef hot dogs, bologna burgers, pulled pork, snacks, soda and water.

He plans to operate on site Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will clean up behind himself when he is done.

Concerning the other permit, Duffey said he has a vinyl machine in his basement and makes decals for go carts, T-shirts, sport jerseys and signs for candidates running for public office. He said he enjoys doing it as a hobby and wants to make sure everything is legitimate in case he decides to sell anything.

In other business Tuesday night, the town manager updated council on the community clock project explaining the Halifax Village Association has met with Hill Studios and reviewed preliminary design features to be presented to the community Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 5:30 p.m. (See related story on page A2)

 

Espy also reminded council about Halifax Library’s Fiesta Friday set for today to celebrate the library reopening on Fridays.