Don’t feed the turkeys

City council tackles turkey problem, authorizes new batting cage for Kinnaird Park and sponsors trade show.

Council has decided to take action on the problem of the growing population of wild turkeys making Castlegar their home. An amendment to Wildlife Attractant Bylaw 1198 was introduced to provide for a prohibition on feeding wild turkeys. The current bylaw restricting the feeding of wildlife defines wildlife as a bear, wild cat, coyote, raccoon, skunk, beaver, crow or domesticated animal running at large. The amendment simply adds wild turkey to the list and will also include a fine of $50.

The move is in response to increasing complaints about the turkeys and those that are feeding them. Presently the authority to deal with wildlife lies with the province under the Wildlife Act, although there does not appear to be any specific powers given to conservation officers to deal with this situation. Last year the city added turkey crossing signs to Columbia Ave. to deal with the problem of motorists being surprised by turkeys on the road. The hope is that if people stop feeding the turkeys they will stop becoming domesticated and return to their natural environment.

Trade show sponsorship

Council decided to spend $1000 out of the 2016 economic development budget line item to assist with the costs associated with hosting a reception for the vendors at the 2016 Annual West Kootenay Trade Show hosted by the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce. The welcome vendor’s wine and cheese reception is designed to supply vendors with an opportunity to network and develop business relationships.

The decision was split with councillors Vassilakakis and Heaton-Sherstobitoff wishing to support the chamber, but expressing that they did not feel the reception was a way to get good value for the money.

New batting cage for Kinnaird Park

The Castlegar Girls Softball Association was granted permission to construct a batting cage at Kinnaird Park. The organization was awarded a five-year lease agreement. Construction will include a 12′ by 50′ batting cage and a 12′ by 12′ pitching machine shed.

The Castlegar Girls Softball Association is a growing group with approximately 80 girls registered. The club has estimated the construction value of the project to be $20,000. The association will be responsible for the cost of the installation and maintenance.