A county commissioner is looking into devices to deter the birds from roosting on the courthouse.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Columbiana County Commissioner Jim Hoppel's duties typically entail office work, meetings and talking to other officials and constituents.
But on Monday morning, one of the county's highest-ranking elected officials was busy with another task -- sweeping a thick coating of bird droppings off the county courthouse steps.
Hoppel scrapped and swept the steps, working his way slowly down from the entrance to the sidewalk.
The county's maintenance supervisor was off Monday, Hoppel explained. Usually, that person has county jail prisoners clean off the steps daily.
But Hoppel said he's had it with the mess left by pigeons that roost on the courthouse's many ledges and its clock tower.
How bad it is
Not only are the steps soiled, but so is the building's ledges, its facade and the handicapped ramp leading into the courthouse's lower level from Market Street, he noted.
Some courthouse employees said they're tired of having to walk through the bird droppings to come into work. Although prisoners sweep the steps, they're quickly soiled again.
Hoppel, commission board president, noted that there are devices to deter birds from roosting on buildings.
Building owners have made use of special netting or strips that contain metal spikes to discourage birds from perching.
The county, trying to recover from a financial crisis, is operating on a tight budget. But Hoppel said ridding the county's governmental seat of an unsightly mess is worth the cost.
"We're just going to have to find the money and get it done," Hoppel said as he went back to sweeping.