Mequon - The Mequon Common Council approved paying sharp shooters once again this year to curb the heavy deer population in the city, citing concern for driver safety due to wildlife on city roadways.
After a 5-2 vote, with Aldermen Dan Abendroth and Andrew Nerbun opposed, the city will pursue a contract with Urban Wildlife Specialists for deer culling, which charges $145 per deer killed.
In addition to vehicular concerns, the effort to cull deer was also started in the city to lessen the amount of damage to property and vegetation. The 2013 budget includes $9,000 set aside for deer culling.
Last year, according to Mequon Police Chief Steve Graff, 61 deer were taken out of the city.
It was Graff who called for an emergency Public Safety Committee meeting before the Common Council met Tuesday to ask permission to pursue the contract because of warm weather and increased vegetation. He said there was not a safety concern and UWS has a clean safety record. The Police Department also uses a surveyor to scan the land for safety issues before UWS culls deer in a specific area or if a resident calls them out to their land.
Common Council President John Wirth said an analysis was done in a previous year when deer culling was not undertaken by the city and there was a marked increase in traffic accidents.
Nerbun opposed this contract, disagreeing with removing deer from the city. Alderwoman Pam Adams said the people in her district like to see deer in their yard; however, curbing some of the deer population is necessary.
"It's not to get rid of the deer, it's to provide control," she said.
Abendroth does not oppose curbing the deer population; however, he wants to utilize the resources available in the community such as the local bow hunters club to do so.
"There are plenty of deer hunters in the city that bow hunt," he said. "We don't know how many deer we are harvesting," so the lack of information on why sharp shooters are needed is the reason he will continue to vote against this contract.
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