Watertown lawmaker questions crow killing

Watertown lawmaker questions crow killing
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:24 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Watertown city council member is questioning how the city handles the influx of crows during cold-weather months.

Cliff Olney wonders if there’s a better way to drive crows off than killing some of them.

Olney raised his concerns at a meeting Monday night.

City planning director Mike Lumbis says the company, Loomacres Wildlife Management, killed about 100 crows last year.

For years flocks of crows have troubled the city, making a mess in the winter.

Olney asked if an environmental engineer could be brought in to come up with other methods.

Mayor Jeff Smith, who proposed they start killing some of the birds two years ago, says there’s no need for other options.

“I didn’t know if we have looked into all of what is maybe possible for us to alleviate this problem,” Olney said. “I certainly understand people don’t want to go to the car wash much more than what they need to.”

“i can tell you over the past two years, I have gotten several emails from the PETA folks and I have invited them to come and take the crows,” Smith said, “but no one has come and taken the crows so I understand the best, most effective method has been shown.”

Olney also proposed hiring a grant writer for the city.

He says it could help find money, citing river development and a city hydro project as opportunities for funding.

Smith and council member Sarah Compo Pierce said it was unclear if the individual brought forward was qualified or how often they would be employed to do the work.

They say this type of hire is usually done by the city manager, not a council member.

Council members Lisa Ruggiero and Patrick Hickey were interested in the proposal but ultimately the resolution was tabled.