For the past two months, city leaders have been meeting with state conservation experts, a city committee, and others in a bid to pin down how serious a threat nuisance deer are in Creve Coeur.
Council members have heard reports of deer which have lost their fear of humans, and have caused thousands of dollars in garden property damage. But on Monday night, the council received reports from the city Police and Safety Committee urging the council not to get involved in what could be cost-prohibitive measures or sticky private property matters.
In materials prepared for the meeting, Police Chief Glen Eidman said the departent had responded to as many as 8 deer-vehicle accidents in a single year since 2008 and as many as 10 reports of injured deer in a single year in that same time frame. Put differently, the Chair of the city Police and Safety Committee said 16 deer related calls in 2010 accounted for just .0008 percent of all calls for service last year.
The policy endorsed by the committee--the purchase of a deer cage to be loaned out, was seen by Chief Eidman and some on the council, as a band aid approach. The committee's belief that the problem is isolated enough and too complicated to get involved was tempered by Ward 2 Councilwoman Tara Nealey, who has maintained her concern that the issue is proportionally in the same context as the problem is for Town and Country. Nealey said she would have a hard time saying to residents "It's your issue," and urged the city to explore other options.
Ballwin resident Lou Salamone came forward to propose the idea of bowhunting. He said he has been successful working in Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Wildwood and areas of unincorporated St. Louis County.
In other council business:
- Members received their first work session briefing on the next fiscal budget. The budget includes the reduction of nine employees, seven of which have already come through the city's partnership in the new West County Dispatch Center, and also includes a proposal of asking employees to begin increasing their pension contributions to 3 percent over time. Public hearings on the budget are planned for June.
- The council also approved an agreement with Horner & Shifrin, Inc. to upgrade the city's stormwater master plan. The move comes as council members heard that the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is struggling to maintain existing infrastructure and that there are no plans at the moment for finding alternative revenue sources to fund MSD improvements in Creve Coeur or elsewhere.