The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 23, 2013

Use existing laws for a compromise on dirty birds in city of Enid’s downtown


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The bird was the word during a recent Enid City Commission discussion.

Specifically, the city attorney was talking about bird droppings on sidewalks, especially under larger trees.

If you’ve been dive-bombed downtown, you know what we’re talking about. One woman recently slipped and fell on a sidewalk because the droppings accumulated so much.

Presenting the rough concept of an amended ordinance, Andrea Chism discussed who is responsible for messy sidewalks and parking spaces.

An ordinance could be presented to make downtown businesses responsible for keeping their areas clean, even though the city typically owns the parking, sidewalks and trees.

Trying to be business-friendly, Ward 2 Commissioner Mike Stuber suggested the concept of downtown having tenants pay a small annual fee or having Main Street Enid organize cleanups.

Businesses clearly benefit from clean walkways, but concrete repair and maintenance sometimes require involvement by Main Street or city government, particularly if contacting a landowner is difficult.

Big bird messes will require big guns. Perhaps owners could handle spot maintenance while the city provides power washing for a modest fee by request.

Can’t we all just get along? We hope the city uses existing laws to come to a reasonable compromise. We don’t need to craft new city ordinances that may create unintended consequences.