The association representing businesses in downtown Sidney applauds plans by the municipality to deter seagulls after announcing staff will bring forward a“budget item for consideration” to deal with the problem.
Morgan Shaw, executive director for the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society, said her organization is pleased council will consider budgeting resources in 2020 to help deal with this problem.
“We fully support the Town’s decision to tackle beautification issues as time, money and human resources allow,” she said. “This includes the issue of seagull mess on our sidewalks and buildings.”
A 2018 report found the birds can pose several problems for Sidney, including the “transmission of disease and parasites, unsightly, smelly feces, damage to metal surfaces by corrosive feces, potential obstruction of drains by nest debris and feathers, aggressive behaviour toward humans with food and to building managers, and issuing loud, screeching calls at all times of the day and night.”
Sidney had commissioned the report after receiving several complaints.
Morgan said BIA has received relatively few complaints this year. “[But] we know from our members, that visitors frequently express concern,” she said.
It is not yet officially clear how much money Sidney will dedicate to deterring gulls. Morgan said her organization has two primary concerns when it comes to dealing with the problem. First, sea gulls make Sidney’s streets less attractive,” she said.
“[Sidewalks] and cars littered with seagull poop certainly detract from the attractiveness and cleanliness of the Town,” said Morgan. “The second issue of concern to the Sidney BIA is the nesting of seagulls on commercial buildings. While this is largely the responsibility of commercial property owners of those buildings, it may be possible, longer-term, for [council] and property owners to collaborate to initiate strategies to deter seagulls from nesting on our rooftops.”
Morgan said Sidney BIA members already clean the sidewalks in front of their shops and keep their windows clean as well, but certainly not all.
She said solutions to the problems are not entirely straightforward. “[We] are, after all, a seaside town and seagulls come with the natural environment,” she said. With limited resources, the best solutions appears through collaborations between Sidney and commercial property owners.