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Pigeons hole’d

By Staff
City’s new awnings will have bird-prevention features
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
With plans to spruce up downtown nearing kickoff, city officials are hoping to keep one group of visitors away from the area.
Bids for the new downtown awnings will be opened Thursday. Included in the design specs are requests for pigeon deterrence. The awnings will be topped with a substance that will heat up when the pigeons, which prefer high, out-of-the way nesting places such as awnings or eaves, land on them.
The new awnings are the latest in a series of efforts to eliminate the birds from downtown. Some business owners have placed specially created spikes designed to prevent landing on the top of their buildings while others have tried putting chicken wire in places where they like to roost. Other buildings sport concrete owls on the top, with hopes the fake birds will scare away the pigeons.
While some of the deterrents work, the pigeons often just find a new place to roost. Cleaning the pigeon feces requires city time in pressure washing the sidewalks.
The pigeon-prevention work is part of an overall effort to improve downtown. The $600,000 project includes the new canopies, creation of downtown greenspaces and replacing old concrete planters.
The project is being funded through a combination of grant money and funds from the city. The work will do away with some of the downtown parking space along Main Street and that’s concerning some business owners.
Tankersley said parking is available at the gravel lot the city owns, as well as larger lots off Chestnut Street and Railroad Street. And, he said, the work being done will help bring people to the area.
The work is expected to take about six months and officials hope its completed by Christmas. Adding to the new look will be the new lighted decorations with city ordered which were delivered last week.

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