Spring Lake goose problem sparks controversy with residents

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

Spring Lake Village, an adult condo complex owned by R&R Condo Management LLC, is torn over how to best manage what some are calling an overpopulation of geese on the property. Some residents of the facility are calling the management’s process “controversial.”

Recently, some residents received a notice in the mail from the R&R Board of Directors, stating that the board is seeking to remove geese by euthanizing them in “goose round-ups.” The notice asks residents of SVL to vote “yes” or “no” on the ballot on the notice by April 6. Additionally, a non-response will be counted as a “yes” vote.

The notice says that condo officials have funded many attempts to remove the geese, but the environmental threats and potential slip-and-fall threats from geese feces continue.

“In light of these failed attempts to eliminate our geese problems, the board has contacted a company that specializes in solving a problem like ours,” the notice states. “They use a three-step process called ‘goose round-ups.’”

Sue Sullivan and Joan Fisher began reaching out to social media and local news outlets. The two SVL residents said that they were “appalled” at the notice and the board’s intentions.

“Spring Lake Village is home to a lot of wildlife. It is in a wooded area and has a large lake,” said Sullivan. “There are all kinds of animals there, and it’s their home, too. We took over their habitat.”

Fisher agreed. “We as a community need to look at other options,” she said. “The options they have tried, they have not been consistent with.”

SLV has 640 units—not all of which are filled—and houses about 2,000 Southington residents. Sullivan pointed out that many condo owners at SLV vacation during the winter and aren’t available to check their mail or hand in a ballot. Additionally, Sullivan said many residents did not receive a ballot at all.

“My major issue is with the voting process,” Sullivan said. “The fact that a non-vote will be counted as a ‘yes’ is absolutely ridiculous. I firmly believe they should only be counting the ballots that are returned to them.”

The notice includes data from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) that states reducing the number of breeding adult geese is the only way to achieve and maintain a population decline of resident Canadian geese.

Sullivan and Fisher stated they have requested the board to hold off on the vote allow them to form a committee in order to research a better way to remove the geese. After posting on social media, Sullivan said many residents of Southington have offered to bring their dogs, various noisemakers, and other nonviolent means of shooing the geese away, rather than have them be rounded up and euthanized.

Sullivan also said she has made contact with the Southington police department and animal control officer Joshua Karabin, and she said that both agreed that euthanizing the geese was not a favorable option. SLV is privately owned property, so town officials are limited in what they can do.

At the time this story went to press on Tuesday, R&R Board of Directors president Charles Comstock had not returned calls for comment. See next week’s Observer for ongoing coverage.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.

 

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