City sets fine amount for feeding wild animals

Ban imposed last year to discourage geese population
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Shawano city officials, who put in place a rule last year forbidding people from feeding wildlife in city parks, adopted a set of fines Wednesday that could be imposed if that rule is violated.

Though the fines were unanimously approved, Alderwoman Sandy Steinke raised a question about its enforcement.

“I have just a little bit of concern with this,” she said. “There’s going to be children out in parks picnicking and they’re going to feed a duck a piece of bread. Are we going to slap a 5-year-old for feeding a duck?”

Shawano Park and Recreation Director Matt Hendricks said Shawano police enforcing the rule would use their discretion.

“I think usually they’re quite flexible in situations like that,” he said.

The rule had been put in place in particular to discourage the feeding of geese that have become a problem at Smalley Park and Huckleberry Harbor.

“We do have some people in town that feed the geese, animals and so on, on a very habitual basis,” Hendricks said.

The fine approved by the Shawano Common Council on Wednesday for feeding animals in the parks was set at $187.

In other business Wednesday, the council:

• Approved issuing bonds in the amount of $5.3 million, including roughly $4.5 million in new borrowing for capital improvements and Tax Incremental Finance expenses over the next two years. The rest of the bonding refinances borrowing done in 2009. The bonds will be issued at an interest rate of 2.38 percent.

• Approved an increase in the city’s share of expenses for the state Department of Transportation’s East Green Bay Street project scheduled for this year. Bids for the project at the state level came in higher than expected, requiring the city to put up an additional $22,500 for its share. That brings the city’s total to $115,000. The city will make up those additional costs by finding other savings in its capital improvement projects, including possible removing the Lieg Avenue chip seal project from the 2019 schedule if necessary.

• Approved a bid in the amount of $23,543 to Watch Guard of Allen, Texas for an integrated in-squad camera system for the police department.

• Approved a conditional use permit to allow for the expansion of Packer City International at its site at 1695 E. Green Bay St. The expansion will include an office addition and a relocation of the loading dock.