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Evelyn Morris’ vehicle after it rolled after hitting a deer Feb. 24 on U.S. 89 between Fairview and Mt. Pleasant.

 

Council members cite accidents as

Spring City takes up deer control

 

By Rhett Wilkinson

Staff writer

10-8-2020

 

SPRING CITY – Paul Penrod loves seeing the deer in Spring City.

“They are beautiful,” the Spring City councilman said, noting the fawns.

“But there is a problem,” Penrod said.

Evelyn Morris, a mother of four from Fairview, died Feb. 24 as a result of deer, near Spring City, on U.S. 89 between Fairview and Mt. Pleasant.

She hit a deer. Her 1999 Chevrolet Suburban then rolled.

“She never came back,” Penrod said.

Her husband, Robert Morris, was also injured and required surgery.

Penrod has had “near-misses” in Spring City, he said. And Councilman Cody Harmer said he almost hit a buck on his way to the Thursday, Oct. 1 city council meeting where Penrod talked about Morris and her accident.

Penrod’s comments came as the council took up a potential urban deer control ordinance, such as the one Manti passed in 2019. Deer-control ordinances have also been discussed, but not yet passed, in Fairview and Ephraim.

Under state statute, a municipality may apply to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) for a “certificate of registration” to eradicate deer that have taken up permanent residence in the town.

One required step before applying for the certificate is passing a city ordinance banning feeding of deer with the intent of attracting them. Penrod called for passage of such an ordinance.

“People will be charged or prosecuted if they are caught feeding the deer,” Penrod said. “There is plenty of feed for them.”

The city can decide how to put down deer in order to control the size of herds living in town. One option is hiring a professional archer, Penrod said.

Penrod said of the Manti deer-control ordinance, “I think we could utilize that for a template.”

            Harmer said he would like to have a public hearing on a deer ordinance. He supports any type of ordinance to manage deer, he said. “It’s a huge problem,” he said.

DWR is responsible for deer outside municipalities. But Mayor Cynthia DeGrey said deer born in the city belong to the city.

In other discussion, the council voted 3-1, with Harmer voting “no,” to use CARES Act funding for audio/video equipment, a utility terrain vehicle, equipment and supplies for protecting against coronavirus transmission, a tank and sprayer to spray playgrounds and more.

In the “public comments” portion of the meeting, an Elizabeth Allred asked about Spring City Police Chief Clarke Christensen being present in Spring City Elementary school in the mornings to watch for cars that are speeding.

“He has not been there all year,” Allred said. “I’ve seen kids almost get hit by a car.”

“[I] haven’t asked him to do that every day,” DeGrey said.

Noting that school is almost through the first quarter, Allred requested that Christensen be reminded to “especially” be in school zones during pickup and drop-off times.