Giddy up, geese — Council asked to approve 'goose roundup' request

Friday, May 13, 2022

McCOOK, Neb. — City staff says goose poop is wreaking havoc at Barnett Park and the McCook City Council will be asked to authorize the USDA to conduct a goose round-up to reduce the goose population, at the regular meeting Monday, 5:30 p.m. at City Council Chambers at the Municipal Building.

The council will also be asked to approve, from the consent agenda, city staff to hold discussions with property owners who own properties that are being considered for future annexation.

A number of fish at the Barnett Park ponds have been killed due to the high levels of nitrogen, ammonia and phosphorous. This is a direct result of the waste being produced by the goose population, according to the Nebraska Game and Park Commission and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. Recreational fields at the park, used for soccer and flag football, have also at times been nearly unusable due to waste from the large goose population.

City staff has tried over the years a number of ways to reduce the number of geese and minimize the number of migrating geese. With guidance from the Nebraska Game and Parks, staff has tried egg oiling and harassment noise makers, but neither has proved successful, according to the city manager’s report.

The city has been in contact with the USDA about a goose round-up to remove as many geese as possible. It would be done during the molting season when geese are unable to fly.

This item is on the regular agenda for the council Monday. Also on the regular agenda is to consider bid options and approve the city’s option for the Sheriff’s Sale for Block Six (6), Lot Ten (10), Third Addition to the City of McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska - Sarah L.Wederski property.

At the May 2 City Council meeting, City Attorney Nate Mustion presented information about the bidding process for the Wederski property. The property, at 1107 W. Fourth, is being sold at a Sheriff’s Sale at the request of the city to foreclose the special assessments due the city on the property. The special assessment is the amount of funds the city used to demolish a dilapidated house and to clean up the property.

At that meeting, the council requested a market analysis and title report prepared on the property before making a bidding option. Mustion is waiting on the title report from McCook Abstract and would like to have that before making a recommendation on the bid. When the city receives the market analysis and title report, it is included in the agenda packet for Monday’s meeting.

The third item on the regular agenda is to receive information concerning whether to continue with the city of McCook’s use of replats to modify the layout of existing subdivisions, versus adopting a new system. The replatting process currently in use can cause confusion, as seen with recent Clary Subdivision replats.

From the consent agenda, which can be approved in one motion with other consent agenda items without discussion, is to instruct staff to hold discussions with property owners who own properties that may be part of a future City of McCook Annexation project. Areas under consideration are West Third Street, east of the Miller-Evans Subdivision and Ravenswood Road, south of the McCook Business Park Subdivision. These areas are being considered as they are already receiving the benefit of taxpayer-funded services, such as street maintenance and snow removal. It is the intent of city staff that by having these meetings, property owners will understand the impact of annexation and clear up some misconceptions about the process.

Other items on the consent agenda include:

-Authorize city staff to prepare a resolution fixing as a special assessment the costs the city incurred with the demolition of property at 406 E. First, owned by William Todd Baker. It cost the city $27,742 to demolish the house, remove and dispose of asbestos and legal fees.

-Receive and file an update on the findings of the Middle Republican Natural Resource District with respect to a request from Scott Snyder to purchase property legally described as Block 2 of the Hundt Subdivision: A memo in city files about the property having attached limitations was forwarded to the MRNRD, whose attorney did not find any documentation that addressed the memo’s concerns. City staff is now reviewing the property to make a final recommendation to the council.

The meeting Monday night will begin with two public hearings. The first hearing is for a special exception sought by Jake Thieszen to allow commercial use on property zoned Agricultural (AG), located at Block 1, Cappel Industrial Park, south of Road 716, west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 83 and Road 716/West Q Street. The property is within the two mile jurisdiction of city boundaries. Thiezen wants to build two commercial buildings where liquid feed will be mixed and transported to cattle producers. The McCook Planning Commission has approved the special exception.

The other special hearing is to consider the replat of a portion of South Street right-of-way. A portion of the property on South Street owned by the McCook Humane Society contains city and private utilities and is not within the city’s right of way. A replat would grant the right-of-way access to the city.

The council will also asked to approve two proclamations, “National Public Works Week” and “Police Officers Memorial Day,”  both from May 15-21, 2022.

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  • We have the same goose problem at our church, and also at local ball fields.

    #Scarecrow..... Stuffed predators posted in the outfield will detour geese from landing. A couple cheap, hay stuffed coyote posted on the baseball fields will clear the geese. They won't land if they perceive a threat on the ground. IT IS AMAZING TO SEE, a field clear of geese, but they will land someplace else.

    It also keeps the church lawn clear of goose grease.

    -- Posted by DouglasB75 on Sat, May 14, 2022, at 1:23 PM
  • Relocate a couple of cougars (and not the ones found at local drinking establishments) and introduce them to the park. When the geese are thinned out adequately, simply remove them.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, May 17, 2022, at 4:33 PM
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