Rough terrain and growth in the population of nuisance wildlife are complicating efforts to complete the Interstate 65 beautification project known as “BeautifI-65.”
Warren County Parks and Recreation Director Chris Kummer reported at Tuesday’s county fiscal court meeting that workers involved in maintaining the landscaping at the exit 22 interchange have been hindered by coyotes and that steep slopes at some interchanges have led to the purchase of a remote-control mower.
“They (coyotes) were living in drainage pipes near that interchange,” Kummer said. “It was problematic for our crew. The coyotes would not back down.”
Neither did Kummer. He enlisted the help of Nuisance Wildlife Control of Brownsville, which has trapped and relocated the coyotes living near the exit.
For Nuisance Wildlife Control owner Ronnie Vincent, it’s just another example of how the coyote population has been rising in recent years.
“The coyote numbers have been growing in Bowling Green big-time over the last 10 years,” Vincent said. “We’ll trap them and remove them. We’ll remove about 100 coyotes per year.”
Vincent said he has a backlog of “four to five” weeks’ worth of work trapping and removing coyotes and other nuisance wildlife. Some coyotes are relocated, but many have to be killed, Vincent said.
“If you don’t keep them thinned out, it can lead to problems,” Vincent said. “Every farm that has them has trouble. They’ll catch dogs and cats and whatever other small animals are around.”
Kummer said the coyotes have been dealt with at exit 22, but the four-legged carnivores aren’t the only problems he has encountered in maintaining the I-65 interchanges that have been landscaped as part of the “BeautifI-65” project implemented by the Operation PRIDE organization.
Warren County Parks and Recreation is in charge of maintaining the interchanges, with the city of Bowling Green and the Bowling Green-Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau sharing in the cost.
Uneven terrain near some of the five Bowling Green interchanges led Kummer to look into purchasing a remote-control mower with a 72-inch cut. That $60,907.91 purchase was approved by fiscal court.
“This machine can be controlled from 300 feet away,” Kummer said. “Some of the areas we have to mow have slopes of as much as 50 degrees. This will allow us to keep our employees safe.”
The mower wasn’t the only purchase related to the parks department.
Magistrates agreed to the purchase from Toadvine Enterprises, at a cost of $10,665, of two new scoreboards to replace malfunctioning units at ball fields at Ephram White Park, which will be the site of this week’s Little League baseball state tournament.
They also approved a $10,500 purchase of a pirate-themed structure for Paradise Playground at Basil Griffin Park. Kummer said the new structure will replace a dinosaur-themed playground piece that is “completely worn out.”
Other spending items approved by the magistrates Tuesday:
- $1,089.24 to Amazon for an Elkay water fountain (water bottle refill) at the Warren County Justice Center.
- $25,450 to accountant Roy Hunter to perform Warren County’s 2020-21 audit.
- $6,300 to Comfort Systems USA for a new HVAC unit at Buchanon Park.
- $14,350 to Dude Solutions for the yearly software management subscription for the SmartGov software used for the county’s building, code enforcement and electrical departments.
- $4,909 to Scotty’s Contracting for asphalt patching on Witt Road.
- $20,296 to Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction for patching pavement at Buchanon Park.
- $36,728 to Scott, Murphy and Daniel for work on a new drainage system near the indoor tennis/multi-sport building at Buchanon Park.
- $10,615 to Scott, Murphy and Daniel for sealing and striping parking lots at the Buchanon Park gymnasium and indoor tennis facility.
Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said the next fiscal court meeting is scheduled for July 23 at 9 a.m.
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.