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Pigeon problem ruffling feathers

TUPPER LAKE - With the new village budget adopted, officials in Tupper Lake have turned their attention to something a little less serious; a group of unwanted guests occupying the roof of the village offices.

Late last fall, a sizeable flock of pigeons began nesting along the roof's edge at 121 Park St. Village clerk Mary Casagrain said the pigeons themselves aren't the problem; it's the mess they leave behind.

"There's a handicap ramp to the front entrance, positioned below one of the spots the pigeons are using," Casagrain said. "As the weather gets warmer, the more important it becomes to keep the area clean."

So far, the village has sought numerous solutions to the problem. Casagrain said the board's wish is to shoo away the birds without harming them. Several years ago, the village successfully rid the grandstands at the municipal park of pigeons by using specialized netting that prevents the birds from nesting.

The netting won't work for the office building, so Casagrain contacted the same pest control company the village used for the grandstands. Their advice was to use special "Bird-B-Gone" spike strips that keep pigeons from both landing and nesting along the roof's edge.

But Casagrain said the cost of purchasing and installing the spikes was too high.

"The quote came in at around $10,000," Casagrain said. "The board did not like that figure."

Officials from the pest control company said the project is expensive because the spikes need to be installed along the entire outline of the roof, not just the populated area.

"Otherwise, the pigeons just move to another part of the building, and we really haven't solved the problem," Casagrain said.

Rather than contract with the pest control specialists, the village will purchase the Bird-B-Gone spikes directly from a supplier and conduct its own installation.

"That will certainly save us money," Casagrain said. "We'd really like to take care of this problem quickly and effectively."

Until the problem goes away, Casagrain noted village workers will continue to clean up the ground around the building to assure the sidewalks and ramps are clean and safe for residents to use.

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