Downtown takes aim at bird poop

Nesting seagulls prompt needling response

Every year, roosting seagulls cause an uproar among the downtown crowd subject to their poop bombs.

But instead of simply hosing down the streets, which its clean team does every year, the Downtown Victoria Business Association is tackling the problem before it begins.

A new grant aims to “reduce the drama of the annual occurrence,” Ken Kelly of the DVBA told Victoria city council Thursday.

The association will provide 50 per cent of the cost, up to $350, for downtown businesses to install tripwire aimed at preventing the birds from perching on building tops.

Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe emphasized it’s more than an esthetic issue. The birds like to nest near venting areas, affecting the quality of the air we breathe, she said.

Poop prevention isn’t the only problem-solving strategy on the minds of downtown business owners.

While the DVBA’s clean team removes up to 7,000 graffiti marks annually, the association is now considering a deterrent for future taggers.

Kelly said he’s thrilled Victoria police recently apprehended some prolific offenders. The DVBA is now exploring the idea of civil litigation.

It’s a new strategy that proved successful for the City of Langford. In February, it reached a precedent-setting settlement with a graffiti tagger, requiring him to pay thousands to the municipal government and various businesses.

Also on the horizon for the DVBA is free downtown wireless Internet and a new downtown job jar – details to be revealed later.

Don’t expect any support for harm-reduction facilities, however.

Pressed by Coun. Philippe Lucas on the issue, Kelly said “Our board is very concerned with any such facility moving forward in the downtown.”