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Published: Thursday, 10/22/2009

Vote delayed on proposal to cull deer inside Ottawa Hills

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A pivotal vote on efforts to cull deer within the Ottawa Hills village limits has been pushed back to Nov. 23.

The village has announced that councilmen now plan to cast their votes on the controversial issue at that meeting instead of one previously scheduled for Nov. 4.

The Nov. 23 meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m., was moved to St. Michael's In The Hills Episcopal Church, 4718 Brittany Rd. to accommodate what is expected to be a large crowd.

The village has banned hunting since 1940.

The proposed ordinance before Village Council would provide an exemption for a firm to selectively kill deer.

The proposed change to the ordinance has undergone two readings.

A third reading is expected prior to the vote.

Village officials have said they are considering the selective hunt because of the number of deer seen in recent years inside the upscale community, a Toledo suburb which encompasses 2 1/2 square miles.

Deer also are prevalent in larger Toledo suburbs of Sylvania, Maumee, Perrysburg, and Michigan's Bedford Township.

Some residents claim the abundance of deer has resulted in property damage and potential safety hazards for motorists.

The village has asked the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for permission to cull up to 50 deer.

Other residents contend the cull is unnecessary. They claim the deer problem has been exaggerated, so culling would be a waste of tax dollars.

Village councilmen estimate the initial cull would cost $25,000 to $30,000. They have agreed it may have to be done more than once to be successful.

Opponents have created a Web site to disseminate information about the proposed cull and an online petition to help bolster their case against it. The Web site is www.villagedeer.

The online petition can be accessed off the Web site or by going to http://sites.google.com/site/villagedeer/petition.

It had nearly 60 entries as of early yesterday afternoon, some with multiple names.

Those opposed also are encouraged to jot down their thoughts in an e-mail and send it to villagedeer@hotmail.com, according to Rob Slater, an Ottawa Hills resident involved in the opposition.

The village's Web site is www.ottawahills.org.



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