Bird droppings raise concerns

Pam Rayburn, right, speaks to Sabina Village Council on Thursday, when she alleged a neighbor is raising homing pigeons, causing odor and health concerns from the birds’ excrement on her premises. At left is Councilman Michael Walls.

SABINA — A resident believes a neighbor is raising homing pigeons, and spoke to village council about the odor and health concerns stemming from the quantity of bird excrement on her driveway and premises.

Pam Rayburn brought photographs of excrement on a blacktopped driveway to show members of council Thursday. She was accompanied by two neighbors who backed up what she said.

The pigeon feces can lead to eye problems or worse, according to Rayburn, who specifically mentioned histoplasmosis as a health concern.

The pigeons’ bedding is burned in the residents’ backyard, claimed Rayburn, which produces “a very, very foul, bad smell.”

She hoses off her driveway but the problem returns, Rayburn said.

The village police force might have to actually see the pigeons cause the problem to intervene, suggested Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk, who indicated he had spoken earlier with the police chief about the situation.

Several council members spoke up on the question, including Michael Walls, who read an existing Sabina law aloud.

Walls said “it’s stated right in the ordinance” that no person within the village limits can harbor, raise or assist in raising any animal in unsanitary condition or conditions that cause offensive or unhealthy odors.

Councilman Bill Lewis said the village should do more to “nip it [the problem] in the bud,” adding it is a health hazard and is hurting the quality of life and needs to be taken care of on an emergency basis.

Village officials or Rayburn might be contacting the Clinton County Health Department concerning the matter.

In other news on Thursday night from council chambers:

Because Sabina has the only community pool in the county, the village has applied for the pool to become a participating location for the Silver Sneakers program.

Senior citizens who have a Silver Sneakers card could use the municipal pool free of charge, and the village would later be compensated by the organization, said Hawk.

Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy L. Cornell reported that so far for June, the revenue at the village-run pool is a little higher than its expenses. The June pool revenue rounds out to $8,465 and the expenses are $8,244.

Hawk said he learned at a Clinton County Regional Planning Commission meeting about a Clinton StreamKeepers grant the village can apply for that may pay for creek cleaning, “which may be exactly what we need to help us out to finish up this creek-cleaning project [in town].”

During public comment, Sabina resident Abe Arnold said there is a lot of intentional burning that takes place in the village.

“You can see fires that are four or five foot high, smoke rolling around,” Arnold said. The town’s law on burning permits cooking food outdoors, he said, but there is not supposed to be the burning of tree limbs, for example.

“That’s a fire hazard, especially in dry weather,” he added.

Lewis brought up a 1998 village ordinance that he said regulates excessive traffic noise, and noted he has complained a number of times to police about a resident “revving up” a “high-powered car.” A man in the audience, Dale Lemings, said he was the person in question and that it is his drag-racing car getting worked on in his garage.

Lemings said he usually works on the vehicle in the afternoon and tries to limit the time periods of the noise. But Lewis said when the spans of noise are put together, it makes it “pretty unbearable.” Lemings said he has neighbors who don’t complain though they live closer than Lewis does.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.