|To actively manage geese in Coon Rapids, the City is required to secure an annual permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Historically, management activities have entailed the removal of geese from select locations throughout the City; primarily public parks and/or athletic facilities. Prior to issuance of said permit, the City was required to prepare a formal Goose Management Plan, which was adopted by the City Council on April 4, 2017.
This item was first introduced for discussion at a work session on October 25, 2016, and then followed a specific process that included public input through the winter of 2017. During that process staff reviewed a model ordinance, provided information on the process, and outlined a schedule for development of a policy. The direction from the Council at that time was to create a flexible plan focused on high-use public spaces and locations of water quality concerns, and that would allow the general public to utilize the City's permit for goose removal on private property.
At the time of plan adoption, a draft policy and guidelines for implementation were outlined. The policy direction from the Council included education and preparation of resource materials for the public, and included a brief discussion on permit use by the general public. The Council thought it should be the responsibility of private property owners to attempt more natural management options that are outlined in the plan and policy (fence installation, native plantings, decoys, etc.) prior to advancing to the removal option under the City permit. If the property owners were to initiate and document such unsuccessful management activities, then the City would be open to removal under our permit with some consideration for the associated costs. As of today, no formal policy has been adopted in this regard.
Since the goose management plan was adopted, staff has been contacted multiple times regarding three locations within the City. From the information collected, it appears one additional site could be added to the current removal sites; the large wetland and open space area south of Main St. and east of Shenandoah Blvd. that drains into Coon Creek. Additionally, the ice arena site could potentially be expanded to investigate the former Cook Arena vacant lot.
Attached is an updated draft policy that provides the information previously requested by the City Council. Aside from Council input on the content, the main topic for discussion at the work session will focus on the potential expenditure of public funds for private property management and removal. Staff presents the following for consideration.
Require the property owner to pay for the initial pre-trap site survey - $150/site (2017 rate). Depending on the results of the survey, consider a public cost participation based upon the main goals of the adopted plan; proximity to high-use public spaces (major parks and athletic complexes) and locations of water quality concerns. Perhaps setting a minimum threshold at which removal under the City permit would be considered.