Weatherford Democrat

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December 3, 2012

Hudson Oaks discourages residents from feeding deer

HUDSON OAKS — Residents were asked to voluntarily stop feeding nondomesticated animals to stop a growing problem with deer during Thursday night’s council meeting.

City council members approved a resolution asking residents to stop feeding animals such as deer. City officials said they have received several phone calls in recent months about residents feeding deer and other wild animals. In many cases, they have become a nuisance to residents who want the problem solved. One council member said a deer nearly followed him into his garage a few months back.

An urban biologist from Texas Parks and Wildlife spoke to residents during the October council meeting, saying the city didn’t have an overpopulation problem with the deer yet but it could become one if the problem continued unabated.

The biologist said the easiest way to stop the problem is to stop providing supplemental food for the deer.

City Administrator Sheri Campbell-Husband said the city plans on taking incremental steps to alleviate the problem, explaining to residents why feeding the deer is a problem and the negative impacts an increased deer population can have on a community.

She also said that the steps the city is taking will not result in a quick solution.

“This will not solve the problem overnight,” Campbell said. “There is absolutely no way we can balance opinions on the topic as many people are passionate about feeding them. We believe with education we can have residents help us stave off the problem.”

The resolution does not recommend deer relocating initiatives or recommend hunting as a viable option. Residents will be informed via local media, separate mailings to all residents, the city’s website and via social media like Facebook.

City officials also honored retiring City Secretary Sheila Elmore with a proclamation declaring Nov. 29 as Sheila Elmore Day in the city. Mayor Pat Deen read the proclamation calling Elmore “a faithful city employee for 24 years” and thanking her for a job well done.

Elmore has recorded more than 300 public meetings, worked with four mayors and in four city hall locations as well as worked with more than 60 council members and board members during her tenure, according to the proclamation.

The council also approved entering into an engineering services agreement with Teague, Nall and Perkins for the design of two water pump stations, including one at the proposed Red Eagle Water Plant.

Assistant City Administrator Patrick Lawler said that while land for the facility has not been solidified yet, plans for the facility can be drawn up to help speed the process along once land is purchased. He said two sites are being considered and should be finalized during the next few months.

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