by Sarah Squires
The Winona City Council made the move to ban animal trapping throughout most of the city, responding to recent discoveries of traps near walking paths in Lake Park and near Holzinger Lodge. (See stories Winona Post Nov. 7, 2006 and Dec. 12, 2006)
Late last year, a dog got stuck in a leg-hold trap while on a jaunt near Holzinger. The accident drew some attention to the question of just where trappers can leave their devices, and the city discovered that it had no ordinance on file that restricted the placement of traps within city limits.
Council member Tim Breza said that, while he supports the ordinance banning traps from most city spots, he had some concerns with the city's "piecemeal approach" to wildlife management. He said that there is an excess of deer, geese and even coyotes within the city.
"There's a lot of wildlife in the city," said Breza, adding that he'd just seen coyotes in his backyard. "There's coyotes that could be in your backyard, right now, today."
Breza said that he felt there was a safety issue with wildlife management that he would like addressed in the future.
While most of the city is now off-limits to trappers, they can still trap near the Winona Airport, near the city's East End wastewater treatment plant, and on Latsch Island and in Aghaming Park.
In other business, the council:
" Approved a request for JobZ property designation for newly-purchased land in the Riverbend Industrial Park owned by the Hal Leonard Corporation;
" Approved the budgeted purchase of four new city police department squad cars;
" Approved the council's travel policy to reimburse gas mileage at a rate of $0.48 per mile, which is the rate the IRS uses. "Truck drivers don't even get that," said council member George Borzyskowski. "They don't even come close to that."
" Selected the council president pro-tem. Borzyskowski was selected for the position. Breza and council member Debbie White nominated themselves for the job, and both requested that the council vote using a closed anonymous ballot method. Council member Gerry Krage objected and said he wanted a public show of hands. Breza said he was trying to "promote council harmony." Council member Al Thurley said, "We're not voting anybody off the island here." The motion for a closed ballot failed, with Breza and White voting in favor, and Borzyskowski's nomination was voted on first. Krage, Thurley, Borzyskowski and Mayor Jerry Miller voted for Borzyskowski, and so the other nominees did not have to go to a vote.