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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Donors Pony up Cash, Deer Program Moves on to Committee

Beverly Erschell delivers deer fund donation checks to Mayor Eric Haas.

Plans for a pilot deer control program are moving forward.

At the December city council meeting, Fort Thomas resident Beverly Erschell presented checks totaling $5,500 from donors to the city to seed funding of the new program.

Erschell and a group of concerned residents came together over the fall months to research the issue of deer overpopulation in our area. They decided on a plan that provides birth control to deer through contraceptive darts. Tufts University has researched the approach, and it is similar to a successful program used to control wild horse populations.

RELATED: Fort Thomas Residents Raise Funds for Deer Control Project

"I want to thank you for moving forward on the deer control program, and supporting our attempt to find a more humane way to address the situation," Erschell told city council.

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She asked council to help spread the word about the fund. She said she was confident that once other Fort Thomas residents learn about the program they will want to donate.

"I appreciate very much everybody’s involvement in this," said Mayor Eric Haas. "There’s more information we have to gather to figure out how to make this program work. Ron [Dill] has been investigating that…We are heading in the right direction."

Dill said staff is studying the plan and will work with the residents and experts to explore how to implement the program. It was agreed that the city will monitor the success of the program before committing public funds.

For now, the council voted to allow the city to take private donations for the fund and to refer the issue to the Law, Labor and License Committee. The committee will work on program implementation, measurements for success and related issues.

Donation checks have been made out to the city of Fort Thomas and are marked “for deer program.” More details on donations and the program parameters will be decided in committee.

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