The Carmel City Council will consider an ordinance to outlaw the feeding of waterfowl on city property.
That means if someone is caught tossing bread to ducks and geese in the Carmel Veteran’s Memorial reflecting pool, a fine could be imposed.
City Councilors Sue Finkam and Jeff Worrell are sponsoring the proposal, which is on the agenda to be introduced at the Aug. 15 council meeting.
Finkam said the ordinance is in response to damage done by geese and ducks at the reflecting pool. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has previously said that the waterfowl have cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in waste removal on the sidewalks and in pools. Finkam said she has photos of the pool being filled with waste and feathers, and the city can’t keep up with cleaning it.
“I don’t like additional regulation any more than the next guy, and I’m trying to balance that with the additional cost to maintain the pool and with appropriately honoring our veterans at the same time,” she said. “It’s disrespectful to our veterans to have it in bad shape.”
Brainard said he’s hired companies to try to relocate the waterfowl so they will nest elsewhere, but they are still in the pool. He said no waterfowl were euthanized or harmed, and encouraging them to nest elsewhere is fiscally conservative because of the cost of cleanup and because duck and geese waste can be toxic to the public.
Finkam said it’s possible the ordinance could be tweaked in committee to exclude certain sites, but she couldn’t say where. Waterfowl have also been known to congregate at the Japanese garden and koi pond near Carmel City Hall. She said the amount of the fines could be up for debate as well.
In other news, Finkam said the council had a long discussion in committee about a collection of new rules surrounding golf-cart usage in Carmel. She said many changes were made, and some are suggesting the city do nothing. She also said a proposal to require indoor, long-term bicycle storage for employees at new buildings being constructed will likely go from mandatory to an encouragement. Those businesses could be able to reduce their car-parking spaces by providing bicycle parking.