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Penn Township officials to give new geese-deterrent light system a shot

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Penn Township officials have seen the light when it comes to a solution to geese problems at Municipal Park, but it won't be until next year that the nuisance birds do, as well.

Officials said they are planning to reserve about $4,000 in the recreation budget next year to pay for a new light system they hope will spook geese into fleeing from the park.

The money would cover a six-month trial for solar-powered lights sold by an Ohio company called Away With Geese. The nighttime units emit an amber light that is designed to disturb the geese's sleeping patterns in order to lead them to find a new home.

Commissioner Paul Wersing, the chairman of the township recreation commission, said the lights seem to be the only option left for the township. Officials previously tried using dogs, sprays and dead-goose decoys to encourage the geese to fly away.

“I hope it works,” Wersing said. “I hope we're not blowing $4,000, but we've got to try it.”

Commissioner Larry Harrison, who also sits on the rec commission, said he thinks the problem has been exacerbated by people feeding the geese at the park.

He suggested the township might have to increase its enforcement of an ordinance barring people from leaving food for the geese.

Pond closed

The pond at Municipal Park now is closed so the public-works department can expand it as part of a park-improvement project.

The township has a permit through the state Fish and Boat Commission to reduce the water level to about 4 feet until Aug. 15, but officials haven't determined when the pond will reopen for recreational fishing.

Dog park opening

Dog owners will have a new spot for playing with their dogs in Municipal Park.

Commission members will have a formal dedication of the park on May 22 at 6 p.m.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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