Silver Lake -- Village Council on Feb. 6 heard from three residents about a potential deer population control program.
Mayor Bernie Hovey gave Council draft legislation on the issue and asked them to determine if they want to move forward with the plan. Council President Jerry Jones (At Large) told the audience of about 20 that Council would discuss the proposal at its next meeting on Feb. 21.
"The deer population is really causing a problem," said resident Adrian Achtermann, a former Council member. " I hope that Silver Lake will start some kind of program I'll be interested in helping on that." He noted he planted about $1,000 worth of flowers on his property during the past three to five years.
"It's just turned into a salad bowl for the deer," said Achtermann. "They have totally ruined our little fence that has gone around our property. It's a lot of damage "
Under the draft ordinance, residents would apply for a permit to allow hunting to occur on their property and must use bow and arrow hunters that are approved by the mayor.
Resident Barb Oldham said she likes the deer and enjoys seeing them pass through her yard.
"We live in a village that is off the beaten road," said Oldham. " (It's) very calm, it's rural in its own little way even though the houses are close, you don't have to focus in on your neighbors and you have your own little piece of paradise, and the deer are part of my paradise."
She suggested trying to give the deer contraceptives or putting out some feed for the animals. That comment elicited some laughter from the audience.
Oldham said she did not like the idea of shooting the deer with bow and arrow because "I could just picture a wounded deer thrashing through yards and I just don't want it."
Resident Jill Schieve said while she enjoys seeing the deer, she felt they are "posing some dangers."
As an example, she said she recently saw a buck standing next to the sidewalk near the tennis courts on Silver Lake Boulevard while people were walking by. She noted it was possible that the pedestrians could have been harmed if the deer had been "provoked." Schieve also said a resident on Parkwood Drive recently had a buck "come down the driveway and come at a dog in the neighborhood." She added her husband has videotaped deer and dogs in confrontations.
Schieve added there are local people who have expertise using bow and arrow who can help alleviate the problem.
Hovey recently told the Falls News-Press that the village needs "to do something about the deer. I think they're an issue." He also noted that the views of residents seems to have tilted more toward taking action versus leaving the deer alone.
As part of approving the permit, the mayor would establish guidelines on the number of deer to be taken and the period of time in which hunting would be allowed on certain properties. He also would designate certain areas where hunting can occur. Only bow and arrow hunting from an elevated position would be allowed, according to the draft ordinance.
Hovey said if a program is implemented, it would only occur during deer season which runs from September through sometime in February.
Discussion of drilling gas well also on tap Feb. 21
Jones said that Village Council on Feb, 21 will also discuss a proposal from a Ravenna-based company to drill a gas well on village-owned property. David Beck, Vice President of Beck Energy Corporation, spoke to Village Council on Dec. 19 about drilling a vertical natural gas well on a parcel south of Village Hall in an area where village officials keep equipment. Following the drilling itself, fracking would occur to extract the natural gas from the well, according to Beck.
Jones said there is no legislation before Council on this issue.
Resident Jeff Abood on Feb. 6 shared his concerns with Council about the proposed well. Noting he reviewed the lawsuit that the city of Munroe Falls brought against Beck Energy and spoke with the city's mayor, Abood said: "My impression is once Silver Lake gives their permission for a well to go in they have no more say. The state of Ohio regulations apply, but no local ordinances apply."
He added he thought breaking up bedrock between the Cuyahoga River and Silver Lake "isn't a good idea."
Council's next meeting is Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall, 2961 Kent Road.