By Chad Ingram
Blue jays have been wreaking havoc on blue and white 911 residential address signs throughout the county with hundreds of signs damaged as the jays peel their covering away.
The county experienced a similar issue in summer of 2014 with the birds causing widespread damage to address signs. “We were hoping it was a one-time issue” Haliburton County public works director Craig Douglas told county councillors during a meeting in late June.
“We’re thinking maybe 300 or 400 signs have been impacted and maybe more” Douglas said. “I think the most efficient thing for staff to do is to replace them in bulk including the little plastic cover that goes on so this never happens again.”
Previously the county had attempted to get residents to pay for their replacement signs at a cost of $7 per unit at the time and Douglas told council a lot of staff time was spent trying to collect a small amount of money from residents. “In the past we were out back and forth a lot trying to collect $7 from the property owners” he said “we found that we were tracking back sending letters back and forth all over the county trying to install these things.”
Douglas told council the cost per sign with plastic cover would cost the county approximately $15 per unit. “I think it’s a health and safety issue and we want to get on it right away” he said.
“That’s an awful lot of administration to chase everybody for $7” said Warden Liz Danielsen.