GRANITE SHOALS — A citizens survey citing problems caused by the deer population in the city limits has promptedofficials to look for solutions to quell the herd.
The city of Granite Shoals distributed 2,077 10-question surveys and received 391 responses in February to be presented to the city council March 10.
Of the respondents, 56 percent agreed the deer are causing problems and the city needs solutions; 28 percent responded the deer caused some problems but not enough to worry about; and 16 percent answered the deer did not cause a problem at all, according to results of the survey.
“It was right in line with what we were anticipating,” Wildlife Committee chairman Todd Holland said. “The next thing will be getting a townhall meeting set up, which will be presented by our local wildlife biologist.”
City Manager Ken Nickel said residents’ primary concerns included safety and aesthetics.
“One is the issue of the deer causing accidents. There have been a number of folks that have had near-misses across the board,” Nickels said. “(Another concern was) eating of the vegetation of the property owners, eating plants to the ground.”
Other concerns about the population included the potential for disease and diminishing health of the herd.
“The biggest problem is that we have seen increases in the population of new fawns in the last couple of years,” Nickel said.
Among committee members and city staff, potential solutions discussed include banning the feeding of deer within the city limits or potentially hiring a trapper to catch and relocate the wildlife.
Those solutions might depend on resources made available by the city.
“It boils down to money,” Holland said. “Do we have the money to do anything as a city.
“There was no overwhelming mandate from our citizens,” he said.
Nickel added, “The most critical thing is getting to understand what our residents need, getting in line with our residents on what action should be taken.”
The proposed townhall meeting could take place in May.
To view a copy of the survey, go to www.graniteshoals.org to see the March 10 city council agenda packet.