Weatherford Democrat

September 25, 2013

Hudson Oaks delays public discussion of city’s deer issues


Weatherford Democrat

— By BRIAN SMITH



HUDSON OAKS — A planned discussion of how to handle residents feeding deer in the city, originally set for Thursday, has been delayed.

City council members had urged Police Chief Brandon Mayberry to work with and schedule a spokesman from Texas Parks and Wildlife on the subject, which is leading to a deer overpopulation problem in the city. Mayberry said Tuesday morning that there is just one person observing in the area from TPW and he has been swamped.

“We’re not sure if they have been here as of yet, but they haven’t been able to see what they want to see,” Mayberry said. “When they have their results, we’ll set something up for sometime maybe next month or the month after.”

City Administrator Patrick Lawler said TPW has been in the city but wanted to do several looks over a number of days to better assess the problem and what needs to be done. He says the city is now looking to have the report and town hall meeting at the October meeting scheduled for Oct. 24.

In recent months, deer have been seen approaching residents up close to their homes and nearly followed one person into their garage. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials were scheduled to come back into the area over Labor Day Weekend to do a more thorough observation of deer population in the city.

TPW officials were here earlier this year and did one look around the city for about two to three hours because of time constraints, according to Mayberry. A town hall meeting was held and discussion of what feeding deer can do and urging residents to stop feedng the animals.

At the August council meeting, Mayor Pat Deen said the problem is growing, based on the increase in the number of vehicle-deer accidents and the number of feeders he sees around town.

Slated for discussion tonight is adoption of a new city logo and tagline is scheduled. The new tagline “Branch Out,” which will be placed on city vehicles, correspondence and other ways, was approved at last month’s meeting with the logo, an interlocking H and O, approved by the council last spring.

The first step of reconstructing Oakridge Drive will be discussed with the council expects to allow Lawler to enter into an engineering services contract to begin design plans for the work, which is expected to begin in summer 2014.

Lawler said a discussion of trash rates is also on the agenda with no action to be taken.

“It’s kind of a ‘where we are’ sort of discussion,” Lawler said.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 210 N. Lakeshore Drive.