Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

deer management

July 11, 2017 - 8:45am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city council, deer management.


Deer running loose in the City of Batavia -- creating havoc with residents' flower gardens and posing a threat on roadways -- has been a problem of varying degrees in the City of Batavia for the better part of two decades.

So, in the eyes of City Council, any deer management plan that does not include an option to cull the deer population is simply passing the buck (or doe).

On Monday night, council members responded to a report submitted by the Council-appointed Deer Management Task Force that recommends a non-lethal approach to managing the deer population.

During a discussion steered by Council President Eugene Jankowski, the board agreed that more needs to be done to minimize the impact of deer in several parts of the city, notably the Naramore Drive, Clinton Street, South Main Street and Burke Drive areas.

"Did you reach out to the Hawleys and Michalaks (property owners on Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia), the county or the town to network with them and possibly assist us?," Jankowski asked Mike Freeman, task force chairman, following Freeman's presentation. "I think we need a balanced approach, and I know that the Hawleys and Michalaks are open to assisting us."

Deer herds on those Town of Batavia properties make their way into the city, primarily causing problems in the northeast section of the community. 

Councilman John Canale agreed with Jankowski, while noting that he has seen eight or nine deer running through Lambert Park near Burke Drive. Councilman Robert Bialkowski said he is aware of herds on South Main Street, Union Street and at the VA Medical Center and Councilwoman Patti Pacino has received calls about deer on Ross Street.

"There are people who have done everything (to deter the deer from coming on to their property)," Pacino said. "Can't we do better? Isn't there something we can do? In a year and a half, there won't be a tulip on Ross Street."

The task force's report (details were outlined in a story on The Batavian on Monday) focuses on ways to alleviate or prevent "deer-related impacts" -- through an informational link on the city's website and basing its recommendation on survey responses that suggest the issue "did not rise to the attention that a lethal and proactive initiative needed to be undertaken ..." 

Freeman, who said the task force did not speak to the Bank Street Road property owners, said residents need to be educated about ways "to keep their property safe and to keep the deer away." He also noted that it is against the law to feed the deer.

As far as hunting deer within the city limits, the task force did not rule that out as long as residents adhere to NYS Environmental Conservation Law, which restricts the discharge of a gun, bow or crossbow within certain distances of residences and buildings.

Task force member Joe Rowbottom of Naramore Drive said he has been dealing with deer in his yard since 2001. He said the best way to cull the herd is during the summer, at night, baiting them and using sharpshooters to take them out.

"But, there is a problem with legality," he said. "You have to get property owners to agree. And who is going to be liable if mistakes are made?"

Jim Rosenbeck, of Lewis Avenue, speaking during the public comments portion of the meeting, said he didn't think it is "realistic" to hunt deer in the city.

"I don't want to see the city get deeply involved in a hunt in the city," he said. "Issuing a permit in the Town, that's the way to do it. Homeowners can come together and go to (speak) to Mr. Hawley."

In the end, Jankowski and Council called for the task force to continue its work by exploring a "combination plan" -- culling, education and enforcement of the law -- that would ultimately involve the Department of Environmental Conservation in the process of issuing permits and butchering the deer (with meat given to local food banks).

"We need a little more research, a couple more options," he said.

In other action, Council passed two resolutions dealing with the community's Comprehensive Plan update -- (1) establishing the City as the lead agency for the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) for the draft Comprehensive Plan and (2) setting a public hearing on the proposed plan for 7 p.m. Aug. 14.

City Manager Jason Molino reported that the City Plannining & Development Committee already has scheduled a public hearing on the matter for July 18. 

Once adopted, Molino wrote, the Comprehensive Plan will require zoning code updates consistent with the new plan, adding that the City has money in a committed fund balance to support zoning code updates.

Photo: Mike Freeman, chair of the Deer Management Task Force, addresses City Council on Monday night. Seated at the table in the back are other task force members, from left, Ken Alfes, Joe Rowbottom and Rae Ann Engler. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 3, 2016 - 8:19am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, city of batavia, deer management.

Press release:

Over the past several months, the Deer Management Committee has met and discussed how to best obtain information from the community in connection with the deer population.

As a result, a survey has been created to gauge the public’s interest in the topic and opinions regarding the local deer population. The committee would like you to participate and provide feedback on actual issues surrounding the deer population in our community.

There will be several ways to obtain the Deer Management Survey. The survey will be available on the City website: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3NRD7Z3 or a hard copy of the survey may be obtained at the City Clerk’s Office, City Manager’s office, Richmond Memorial Library or Senior Center.

Please complete and return all survey’s to the City Manager’s Office, One Batavia City Centre (City Hall) no later than Nov. 16.

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey please feel free to contact Jason Molino, City Manager at 345-6330 or [email protected]

Survey questions include:

-- Have you experienced landscape or garden damage from deer -- and how would you describe it?
-- Have you tried any of the following deer management methods (it lists several methods) -- and have they been effective?
-- Have you or anyone in your immediate family hit a deer with a motor vehicle in the City of Batavia?
-- Are you concerned about tick-borne diseases transmitted by deer?

May 24, 2016 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Vibrant Batavia, deer management, BID, Business.

Rather than a typical Monday night meeting, the Batavia City Council is holding its conference meeting tonight, Tuesday night, and discussions are expected to include what to do about deer, what to do with funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, what happened with funding for the Business Improvement District.

The city's deer population has been a point of discussion with the council before, and after researching the issue, City Manager Jason Molino is asking the council for direction on what to do next, how much city staff time should be spent on the issue and what approach might the city take on the topic. Council members received, as part of their agenda packet, a 50-page pamphlet on community-based deer management. There are several approaches the city could take, Molino said in his memo to council, and the best approach depends on the situation in the community and what community members will accept as an appropriate response. "There is no right answer," the memo says, based on the recommendations of the pamphlet authors.

Councilman Adam Tabelski requested an item on tonight's agenda regarding the disposition of funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, which the council decided to defund at its last meeting.  That creates a pool of $97,000 in unallocated funds. Tabelski is suggesting the money be used for the as-yet unfunded Batavia Pathway to Prosperity Capital and Reinvestment Fund. New PILOT agreements with property developers is supposed to generate funds for that program, which is intended to help mitigate clean-up of brownfield sites in the city. That creates a bit of a chicken and egg problem, because funds are needed to clean up brownfields and there's no money in the fund. "Kickstarting the BP2 fund with a significant amount of seed money will help turn an innovative approach to target economic development into reality," Tabelski wrote in his memo.

The council will also discuss changes in the funding formula for the Business Improvement District. The reduction in funding for the BID prompted its board of directors to cancel Summer in the City.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break