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Manti looking for solutions to deer that are causing some residents to ‘give up on gardens’

 

By James Tilson

 

01-10-2019

 

MANTI—The Manti City Council set a deadline to have a plan in place to deal with deer populations within city limits.

While discussing continuing business, the council brought up the deer population problems. The council had considered the issue earlier last fall, but had not taken any action on it yet.

Councilwoman Mary Wintch exclaimed, “They’re everywhere this year!” And Councilman Gary Chidester agreed, saying, “A lot of people in town have given up on gardens.”

City Administrator Kent Barton said a presentation on the issue was already scheduled for the next council meeting on the 16th. At that meeting, an anti-feeding ordinance can be discussed, a public hearing scheduled and public comment can be solicited.

Councilman Darren Dyreng said he wanted a deer control program approved and in place by the end of March, so that residents would have time to prepare. Barton agreed the council should move on the issue, but with attention it should be ready by then.

Dyreng said the council will have a number of options on how to deal with the deer population, from allowing private citizens to hunt deer within city limits, to contracting with and only allowing a professional hunter to utilize the program. Chidester indicating he was in favor of making the meat available to families in need. Dyreng agreed that was one of the options available to the council.

The council also heard from Sports and Recreation Director Vern Jensen, with a report on last year’s activities and a look ahead to next year.

“Lots of kids are coming out, our numbers are up,” Jensen told the council. Jensen pointed to expansion of youth basketball programs, fall and spring soccer and changing flag-football to NFL rules as factors for improved participation numbers.

Manti’s new baseball/softball venue caused Jensen, and the council, to be very excited for the coming year. “We will be ready to start this spring, and we’ll have new events,” said Jensen.

Jensen pointed to a change in the recreation department’s youth baseball program from the Babe Ruth league to the Utah Boys Baseball Association (UBBA) as one new event. With teams from Gunnison, Salina, Manti and Ephraim in their region, the playoff between all those teams would be held at Manti’s new facility.

Jensen also said the Ephraim’s Lions Club was considering holding their annual youth baseball/softball tournament at the facility as well.

Wintch noted that with new people coming to Manti, local businesses would benefit from the overflow traffic, as would the city pool.  The council expressed hope that the new traffic would help offset the expected loss in revenue from the ending of the Mormon Miracle Pageant.