Salina still howling over coyote saga

— A pack of residents piled into Salina Town Hall to hear more on the possibility of lifting the town’s restriction on the use of firearms in the Scottsdale Farms tract after a coyote was spotted in the area a few months ago.

The town held another public hearing Monday, May 14, to consider allowing residents in the neighborhood to hire a wildlife control agent to shoot the animal. The issue first appeared on the town board’s agenda April 9, when the board considered the possibility of allowing a trapper to use a crossbow or longbow. After that hearing, it was determined that method was unsatisfactory; Monday night’s hearing was to consider the possibility of using a firearm.

At Monday’s meeting, town attorney Robert Ventre shared more information he had obtained from the Department of Environmental Conservation. He noted that all homeowners within a 500-foot radius of whomever would be discharging any firearm, crossbow or longbow would have to sign a waiver indicating that they’d been informed of the intent to discharge any weapon, and that they gave their permission for that weapon to be discharged.

“Keep in mind that a requirement of any consent to be given by this board, if you are going to consent to this, you’d want compliance with obtaining a sign-off from the DEC,” he said. Otherwise, Ventre said, the wildlife control agent would be committing a misdemeanor, as would those who hired him in the first place.

“We don’t want to condone that,” Ventre said.

Because of the proximity of Donlin Drive Elementary, the school board’s permission might also have to be obtained.

Ventre said the town board shouldn’t move forward until signatures were obtained from all homeowners within that 500 foot radius of where the shooting would take place.

“It would be senseless for you to grant an exception without obtaining that,” Ventre said.

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