Following many complaints from residents of Biggs, the California Department of Fish and Game was contacted in regards to a recent influx of additional night herons causing not only offensive odors and decomposing birds but also a real health hazard.
The birds are protected by the Federal "Migratory Bird Treaty Act," meaning they cannot be disturbed during their nesting season which is approximately March through September.
The cities of Maxwell and Willows have had similar problems. In a report provided by the City of Willows, it was stated that the number of birds in the first year of influx reached over 500 birds but climbed to over 2,000 during the third year.
City Administrator Mark Sorenson stated during the Tuesday night Council meeting that he had spoken with two different biologists who offered to attend the August 13, 2013 Council meeting to offer their suggestions regarding the problem.
Council members agreed they would like to hear from the experts since their hands are tied at this time.
Mayor Roger Frith remarked that much of the problem is in city-owned trees but that the City does not have the resources to trim the trees.
"I know little children who cannot play in their yards for fear of being hit by the droppings. It creates a real health hazard," Mayor Frith stated.
The Mayor asked that residents please attend the August 13 meeting to hear how the town can solve the problem.
Council members were disappointed to hear that the Sixth Street Bridge Project will have to be delayed once again.
According to City Planner Steve Speights, Cal Trans has acknowledged that they dropped the ball on the seven year project. With an October 1 deadline to be out of the channel of water, this does not give enough time to get the project started.
"If everything went perfectly, we could possibly be done by Thanksgiving, but I have yet to see any construction go perfectly," Speights stated.
Rather than face the probability of Sixth Street having to be closed off through the winter, Speights recommended waiting until the spring to advertise for bids and starting the project by May 1.
"It's been seven years, what's another year," Mayor Frith stated in disgust. "We're very patient."
The City's Waste Water Treatment Plant Project is on schedule with Phase I funding processed by the State Revolving Fund. Applications must be submitted for Phase 2 to remain on schedule to meet permit requirements. Council members voted to negotiate and execute financial assistance for Phase 2.
Mayor Frith expressed concern regarding misinformation circulating around "Back Biggs Road," and Bannock Street and an email sent by a resident stating that sewer ponds are being put in by the City of Biggs.
"This is the second time we have had someone saying things that are not correct. I am very concerned that this could cost us time and money. This is very disheartening. We need to have discussions on what is going to happen. People are saying we are putting open sewers and sewage ponds in. They have no idea this is a treated waste water plant. We need to get this nipped in the bud so that if staff is approached they refer people to a spokesperson," Mayor Frith stated.