Village's Deer Program a Work in Progress

A call for sterilization along with hunting

A sterilization program should accompany lethal methods used to cull the deer population in the Village of East Hampton, the executive director of the Village Preservation Society told the village board at its meeting Friday.

But that will not be a component of the program in its initial stages, Becky Molinaro, the village administrator, told Kathy Cunningham. Ms. Cunningham attended the meeting to inquire as to the planned culling program, which is expected to commence in February or March, and to advocate for inclusion of sterilization in conjunction with the use of sharpshooters to kill deer.

“The lethal option is something that the D.E.C. requires in order for a sterilization program to go forward,” Ms. Cunningham said. “We would like to support you in that outreach and in implementing such a program.”

Her organization has been in contact with representatives from other civic organizations “that we know have an interest in seeing this component of deer management folded in,” she said, asking whether the village had made a financial commitment. “We want to know where that is and when we can expect to see that in [the budget].”

The village has not yet formally committed to participate in a deer-management program, but, said Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach, “It’s safe to say this is the first of several disciplines that will take place trying to grapple with the population of the deer. As time goes forward and we enter into the culling program, I give you assurance, and the public assurances, that we are certainly open to other disciplines, some of which have been articulated by V.P.S. That’s a work in progress.” The cost of the program has yet to be determined, he said. He asked Ms. Molinaro to update the preservation society as to the time frame.

The Long Island Farm Bureau, whose executive director, along with a representative from the federal Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division, had pitched the board on a culling program on Sept. 30, is seeking commitments from participating municipalities by the end of the calendar year, Ms. Molinaro said. At that meeting, Joseph Gergela of the Farm Bureau and Allen Gosser of the U.S.D.A. had estimated that it would cost the village $15,000 to take part in its proposed program.

“Once commitments are made from the other municipalities, that will help the U.S.D.A. determine where they’re going to start [and] how long it’s going to take in each community,” Ms. Molinaro said. “Once we know where the village is going to be on that timeline, [that] will give us a better idea of when we want to look at other alternatives, especially once the culling program is finished in the first year.”

A sterilization program has to take place in the fall, Ms. Cunningham said, before does are impregnated. “We’ve missed the window of opportunity, but if we’re planning it for next year, that planning needs to begin now,” she said.

Should the village continue to participate in a deer-culling program beyond the first year, Ms. Molinaro said, “that will dovetail nicely into the next budget cycle.”

“Thank you for that, but we’re eager to see it,” Ms. Cunningham replied.

Residents, the mayor said, have been “somewhat supportive of the village’s posture in this,” based on feedback directed to Village Hall. “Again, we do it with a great degree of reluctance. It’s a very arbitrary step, but one we feel is appropriate and necessary at this time.”

Also at Friday’s meeting, the board added to the village code a law that will require the village to notify individuals when there is believed to have been a compromise of individual private information. The local law complies with a section of the state’s new technology law and had drawn no public comment when it was considered at a previous meeting.

The board also approved the village’s retirement system contribution for the 2013-14 fiscal year. A payment of $982,224 will be made to the police and fire retirement system, and $929,975 will go to the employee retirement system.

Noting the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, the mayor closed the meeting by sending the audience his and the board’s greetings of the season. “At the same time, let’s not forget the sacrifice that so many of the veterans have made who served in our armed forces, both men and women, and the folks who are in service now serving our wonderful nation,” he said.

A sterilization program should accompany lethal methods used to cull the deer population in the Village of East Hampton, the executive director of the Village Preservation Society told the village board at its meeting Friday.

But that will not be a component of the program in its initial stages, Becky Molinaro, the village administrator, told Kathy Cunningham. Ms. Cunningham attended the meeting to inquire as to the planned culling program, which is expected to commence in February or March, and to advocate for inclusion of sterilization in conjunction with the use of sharpshooters to kill deer.

“The lethal option is something that the D.E.C. requires in order for a sterilization program to go forward,” Ms. Cunningham said. “We would like to support you in that outreach and in implementing such a program.”

Her organization has been in contact with representatives from other civic organizations “that we know have an interest in seeing this component of deer management folded in,” she said, asking whether the village had made a financial commitment. “We want to know where that is and when we can expect to see that in [the budget].”

The village has not yet formally committed to participate in a deer-management program, but, said Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach, “It’s safe to say this is the first of several disciplines that will take place trying to grapple with the population of the deer. As time goes forward and we enter into the culling program, I give you assurance, and the public assurances, that we are certainly open to other disciplines, some of which have been articulated by V.P.S. That’s a work in progress.” The cost of the program has yet to be determined, he said. He asked Ms. Molinaro to update the preservation society as to the time frame.

The Long Island Farm Bureau, whose executive director, along with a representative from the federal Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division, had pitched the board on a culling program on Sept. 30, is seeking commitments from participating municipalities by the end of the calendar year, Ms. Molinaro said. At that meeting, Joseph Gergela of the Farm Bureau and Allen Gosser of the U.S.D.A. had estimated that it would cost the village $15,000 to take part in its proposed program.

“Once commitments are made from the other municipalities, that will help the U.S.D.A. determine where they’re going to start [and] how long it’s going to take in each community,” Ms. Molinaro said. “Once we know where the village is going to be on that timeline, [that] will give us a better idea of when we want to look at other alternatives, especially once the culling program is finished in the first year.”

A sterilization program has to take place in the fall, Ms. Cunningham said, before does are impregnated. “We’ve missed the window of opportunity, but if we’re planning it for next year, that planning needs to begin now,” she said.

Should the village continue to participate in a deer-culling program beyond the first year, Ms. Molinaro said, “that will dovetail nicely into the next budget cycle.”

“Thank you for that, but we’re eager to see it,” Ms. Cunningham replied.

Residents, the mayor said, have been “somewhat supportive of the village’s posture in this,” based on feedback directed to Village Hall. “Again, we do it with a great degree of reluctance. It’s a very arbitrary step, but one we feel is appropriate and necessary at this time.”

Also at Friday’s meeting, the board added to the village code a law that will require the village to notify individuals when there is believed to have been a compromise of individual private information. The local law complies with a section of the state’s new technology law and had drawn no public comment when it was considered at a previous meeting.

The board also approved the village’s retirement system contribution for the 2013-14 fiscal year. A payment of $982,224 will be made to the police and fire retirement system, and $929,975 will go to the employee retirement system.

Noting the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, the mayor closed the meeting by sending the audience his and the board’s greetings of the season. “At the same time, let’s not forget the sacrifice that so many of the veterans have made who served in our armed forces, both men and women, and the folks who are in service now serving our wonderful nation,” he said.