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Diamondville council explores ways to address raccoon issue

Posted: Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013

On Monday, Nov. 4, the City Council of Diamondville was called to order for the first of two council meetings in the month of November. One item of new business, which involved wildlife of the pesky variety, was on the agenda for Monday night.

The Diamondville Police Department (DPD), in addition to town offices, has been receiving complaints from residents about raccoons in the area. One household in particular was referenced by complainants as the raccoons’ primary food source. As a result, the city council, the DPD, and local residents share a growing concern that more raccoons will likely be attracted to the area if no action is taken.

This concern is validated by the increasing reports of disturbances caused by raccoons. One such report came from a Diamondville resident who saw her bird feeder destroyed, its lid torn clean off by at least one large raccoon in an apparent effort to access the bird feed therein. Upon review, no existing city ordinance could be applied to this matter, leaving the city council to agree upon a course of action.

Diamondville Police Department Chief Mike Thompson suggested that humane trapping and the subsequent relocation of the raccoons may prove to be the most viable option available, and he offered the services of the DPD to attempt to trap the animals. Given the looming winter season, Chief Thompson expressed measured confidence that relocated raccoons, if placed a sufficient distance from town, would be unlikely to return.

Once sufficient discussion had taken place and all possible avenues explored, the council voted on a motion to task the Diamondville Police Department with trapping and relocating the raccoons. The council unanimously approved the plan, and the DPD will begin its implementation in the near future.

While discussing the raccoon issue, Diamondville Mayor Eric Backman, and the council as a whole, frequently referred to the expertise of Chief Thompson for his diagnosis of the problem and an explanation of the likely causes. Whether focusing on the roots of the problem or future prevention, the universal rule for dealing with wild animals constantly applied to the bothersome creatures: ‘Do not feed the raccoons.’

Chief Thompson was understandably succinct in his advice to the community on how to get rid of the raccoons and keep them away. “Secure your garbage cans,” he emphasized. Residents are also encouraged to weigh their garbage cans down when they are too light or when severe weather may tip them over.

Following council approval of the consent agenda (routine business) but prior to covering the new business item, several topics were discussed during the reports and announcements portion of the meeting. Diamondville City Council members took advantage of this valuable time not only to share their thoughts and make announcements, but also to present topics of interest to the rest of the council.

Council members began by noting the success of Diamondville’s Fall Bake-Off & Wreath Competition, which is a fundraiser to benefit Paws and Claws Animal Adoption and Care Center. The fundraiser was held at Diamondville Town Hall on Saturday, Oct. 19, and all proceeds went directly to Paws and Claws. In addition to the wreath and baking competitions, a bake sale and a silent wreath auction were central to the success of the event.

Next came an announcement regarding a change to the garbage collection schedule this month. With Thanksgiving falling on Thursday, Nov. 28, the regularly scheduled Nov. 29 garbage pickup will instead take place on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Finally, the council’s focus shifted to last week’s safe and fun-filled Halloween. The Chamber of Commerce organizes trick-or-treating at all of the local businesses around the Triangle and throughout Kemmerer every year, and community participation last week was tremendous. But businesses in the town of Diamondville, for reasons unknown to the council, were not involved in the organized event. There was no shortage of trick-or-treaters in Diamondville despite this fact, but the council hopes that the town and the businesses there will be included in the discussions and planning next year

This type of preliminary dialogue, of course, does not lead to immediate action on behalf of the council. However, many items of new business that reach the council can be traced back to the reports and announcements from a previous council meeting.

For the complete article see the 11-07-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-07-2013 paper.

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