B.E. tackling deer problem

BLUE EARTH – After discussing the deer problem in the city for several months, the Blue Earth City Council decided Monday to take some action on the matter.

It voted 6-1 to budget for a hunt within the city in the fall of 2019, and to form a subcommittee comprised of residents to study the situation and return recommendations to the council.

Councilman Russ Erichsrud said the problem of deer in town was bad last winter, and continued into the spring and summer with deer eating flower and vegetable plants right in people’s yards.

Creating a citizen task force was one item listed in the council packet as a possible solution. Council member John Huisman had previously proposed the special city deer hunt.

In the end, the council decided it could be in the best interest of the city to try and do both — have a deer hunt and form a citizen committee. However, the vote was just to budget for a hunt. The vote to allow the hunt could come at a later date.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord, who was the dissenting vote, said the best solution is not to have a city hunt, but instead put pressure on the Department of Natural Resources to increase the number of deer hunting permits in the area.

“This problem lies with the DNR,” he said. “They are not managing the state’s deer herd properly. Why not have two permits issued to a person per year? They could solve this problem, but they just don’t want to.”

Gaylord attempted to amend the motion to split it into two votes, but his motion died for lack of a second.

“I am in favor of forming the committee, but not of the city hunt,” he said. “It would not solve the problem.”

In other business, the council:

o Heard from Chris Cyphers of B&B Sanitation about a hike in recycling costs to his company from the purchaser of the recycles he picks up. Cyphers asked the council if it would be possible to raise the rate the city pays his company for recycling, due to his increased costs. The council took the matter under advisement, but did not take action at this time.

o Voted to transfer ownership of an alley behind the “Three Sisters” buildings in downtown Blue Earth to the Rural Renaissance Project group. The city had already voted to vacate the alley at an earlier meeting. RRP needs the space for construction of an elevator if its proposed project for the Three Sisters is accepted.

o Voted to designate two dogs that had chased a mail carrier as potentially dangerous dogs, under the terms of the city ordinance.