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Vultures settle in on Harrisonville water tower

Updated: 2013-04-24T19:53:29Z

By BETHANY BASHIOUM

Special to The Star

The vultures are back and at least a few Harrisonville residents aren’t happy.

Residents Charlotte Swanson and Naomi Hargis appeared before the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen on April 15 with a complaint against a flock of protected species making their home on the city’s water tower.

“They are really stinking up the neighborhood badly,” Swanson said. “They’re splattering our cars and houses, and the smell in our homes is pretty bad.”

The vultures have been an issue since at least last year, and Public Works Director Jerry Gibbs said he is working to bring some relief to residents.

By the end of the month, Gibbs said, the city plans to install LED-lighting below the water tower in attempt to keep the vultures from roosting

“From what I understood, about five years ago, we used to have lights that would shine up and illuminate the Harrisonville,” he said. “We’re going to put those lights back in service.”

Gibbs said officials don’t remember the vultures being an issue when the lights were in place. He also said he is going to set up a cardboard replica of vultures on the water tower, to try to scare the birds off.

Alderman Morris Coburn said he’s counted as many as 40 vultures on the water tower at a time.

“I can’t figure out what’s keeping (them) up there,” Coburn said. “Somedays it is halfway decent out and there aren’t many of them up there, and then when the weather is kinda bad, they’re up there.”

Hargis said the smell of the vultures is putrid.

“It’s in my house, and it’s almost like I can taste it in my food,” she said.

Alderman Bret Reece asked Gibbs to update the aldermen monthly on the issue until the problem is resolved.

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