Pigeons are causing problems in Red Deer’s Sorensen Station parkade. (Black Press file photo).

Pigeon problems causing City of Red Deer to fence-off downtown parkade

Council approved $51,000 for fencing

Stopping pigeons from doing their business in a downtown Red Deer parkade will cost the municipality thousands of dollars for fencing.

Red Deer city council approved $51,000 in the municipality’s 2020 capital budget for installing so-called pigeon access restriction measures.

In other words, chain link fencing will screen the openings above the concrete railings in the Sorensen Station parkade to stop pigeons from flying in, said Erin Stuart, the city’s licensing and inspections manager.

“We’ve had problems with pigeons in the parkade, and we’ve attempted other measures and nothing has worked,” she added.

Among the unsuccessful solutions was installing spikes to prevent the pigeons from nesting along ledges.

Stuart isn’t sure if the urban birds are still raising their young in Sorensen Station, but they are making their presence known in other ways: “They do like to sleep and do what-not in there…”

The fencing project is expected to be done in the spring. Meanwhile, city council also approved $76,000 this week to repair parts of the parkade’s concrete roof next year.

“We have issues in the spring with the freeze and thaw,” causing water to pool on the floor of the parkade, said Stuart.

Sorensen Station’s roof was once entirely covered in grass, but this “living roof” did not thrive, as rainwater would drain off the curved roof line.

Stuart said the dead grass was recently replaced with solar panels that are helping to offset the city’s power bills.

A flatter portion of living roof remains over the parkade’s ramps. Stuart noted regular maintenance on this and other features must be done to maintain the parkade, which was installed about a decade ago.

Repairs to the roof over the stairwells are slated for 2022.

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