Aerial bombers asked to hold it

The Week: March 1-7

Seagull sympathies are waning thin this season, as downtown businesses prepare to wage their annual war against the persistent poopers.

It’s poop prevention time at the Downtown Victoria Business Association, as the DVBA is once again offering its “Gull Deterrent Grant” to businesses that need a hand in shooing away those pesky aerial bombers.

“We made great progress with property owners last year, but we still have many more buildings to outfit with roosting deterrents before the 2012 season begins,” said Ken Kelly, DVBA general manager. “Because of this, we are continuing with the Gull Grant this year and hoping that we can get the majority of downtown properties on board.”

The grant, now in its second year, offers businesses within the downtown core a 50 per cent reimbursement (to a max of $350) off the cost of installing “any devices” on the roof and roof lines designed to prevent or discourage the roosting or perching of seagulls.

Kelly says 23 businesses accessed this last year, totalling approximately $7,300 in grants, and the group expects at least equal that number this year. While preference will be given to first-time gull shoo’ers, the DVBA will offer secondary grants to any downtown business installing additional gull-proofing contraptions.

“We know the seagulls can be extremely wily and, if they can, they’ll find a chink in the armour, so to speak, so we know it’s important to keep supporting the businesses that need our assistance,” says Kelly.

The grant will stay open all year, and started early this year as Kelly says there has already been a surprising number of gulls “wheeling over the downtown skies” in anticipation.

The DVBA hopes rooftop deterrents and other measures will provide an inhospitable environment for seagulls during breeding season so that they may nest elsewhere, keeping the high-traffic streets and sidewalks of downtown Victoria free from droppings.

For those still unable to accept the realities of living in a coastal town, grant seekers can fill out an application form provided on the DVBA’s website.

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