CARMEL, Ind. – Feed waterfowl on Carmel city property and you could get slapped with a fine, up to one hundred dollars. City leaders said waste and feathers from ducks and geese are costing thousands yearly in cleanup, largely due to residents feeding the animals.
“We have on many occasions asked people to stop feeding the waterfowl, and that has just gone unheeded,” said Jeff Worrell, Carmel City Council Parliamentarian.
The council approved the ordinance banning the feeding of waterfowl on city property by a unanimous vote on Monday night.
The measure is necessary, according to city leadership, because of costs to rid waste and feathers from the veterans’ memorial reflecting pool that approach $25,000 every year.
The city just spent $463,000 to improve the reflecting pool.
Worrell said consultations with DNR and PETA revealed the best way to manage the waterfowl is to get people to quit giving them food, and some residents just will not stop, though they’ve been asked and warned.
“This really is about certain adults and individuals who are ignoring all pleas and all efforts to try and manage the situation for the good of all,” he said.
Many residents we spoke with said something had to be done.
“I’ve got a feeling they’ll be writing a bunch of warnings before they do a bunch of ticketing,” said Barry Schafer, “You go to the zoo, you’re not supposed to feed the animals, right. This is not a zoo. If you want to see ducks go to the zoo.”
“Poop is absolutely the worst around the edges of the water and what not,” said Emily Garatoni.
Other residents didn’t agree. One woman we talked with said the city’s actions are over the top. She feeds the fowl but didn’t want to go on camera to stick up for the birds.
Carmel Police will be tasked with enforcing the new ordinance, and it will be up to the city attorney to decide whether or not to move forward on individual cases.
Council members suspended the rules Monday night and passed the proposal on first reading.