CLINTON — On Tuesday, the Clinton City Council Committee of the Whole heard about a proposed training facility and discussed pest concerns regarding citizen complaints of excessive deer and pigeons.

Clinton Fire Chief Mark Regenwether addressed the council and briefly commented on the public information session on a future city building code held Tuesday at the Ericksen Community Center. Regenwether said he thought the meeting was productive and may have assuaged fears and misunderstandings about the building code. He added he thinks the community welcomed the opportunity to learn about the building code and he is hopeful the city and residents will continue discussion on the topic. He thanked the council for attending and thanked State Building Code Commissioner Stuart Crine and State Fire Marshal Jim Kenkel for making the trip to Clinton for the talk.

Regenwether gave a presentation on the proposed Clinton Municipal/Industrial Training Facility. He explained that he understands there is not a lot of city funding available for the project and that is why the fire department has been applying for grants and seeking private sector funds to build the facility. He noted the department looked at four different possible city-owned property sites that were not being utilized for construction of the facility and came to the conclusion that a site at 25th Avenue North would be the most feasible.

Regenwether said there are a lot of training needs within the department, including a new minimum training standard effective in 2010 that requires firefighters complete training requirements under live fire conditions before starting work with the department.

He said a municipal/industrial training facility could aid the city’s ISO rating, because training aids lend points to the city’s review. Regenwether showed the committee a map of the proposed layout of the site at 25th Avenue North. He explained various amenities of the facility such as two live burn trailers, a four-story drill tower, training library, meeting facility and open area that can be used for driver training of firefighters, police officers and municipal drivers like bus and snow plow operators. He detailed the grant funding the fire department has received to date including a 2006 Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $229,620 and a grant of $100,000 from the Clinton County Community Development Association.

Regenwether said the facility would provide a wide range of potential training opportunities for city departments, public safety departments in Clinton and Whiteside counties and industrial and utility partners in the area.

Later in the agenda, Ward 1 Councilman Bob Soesbe addressed a number of complaints he had been receiving from citizens regarding excessive pigeons and deer. Soesbe said downtown Clinton is becoming hazardous with all the pigeons and their resulting waste and asked if the council knew of successful control measures that could be implemented. He added that deer are getting bolder and coming further into the city all the time and asked if there is something the city can do about better controlling the deer population.

At-Large Councilman Mark Vulich acknowledged the numerous deer complaints and said he is on the city committee that deals with deer management. He said the next meeting of the committee is on July 10 and the committee will be reviewing last year’s deer control plan and look at enhancing it for this year. He said the committee would try to bring proposed changes for the plan to the next Committee of the Whole meeting on July 24.

Ward 2 Councilman Mike Kearney mentioned that Alliant Energy participates in a pigeon control program for which the company built a falcon nesting platform. Kearney noted pigeons are all over the downtown area, as evidenced by their waste on the sidewalk and he warned that the feces carries histoplasmosis. At-Large Councilman Ron Mallicoat said the council could add raccoons to the pest list. He said part of the problem might be that some residents are feeding the animals, encouraging their return.

City Administrator Gary Boden said it is an issue the city can look into. He noted that there are eradication methods for pigeons, but some could be considered drastic or inhumane. He said that personally, he is OK with getting rid of the “flying rats,” calling them a pestilence and nuisance. Boden said he thinks the city needs to look at some non-natural way to control pigeons because a natural predator option would not take care of the problem efficiently and cited a cleanliness issue for the citizenry. Boden said he would make some inquiries with pest control experts.

In his city administrator report to the committee, Boden said the city received good news from the federal government in the form of a $300,000 grant for the Water Pollution Control plant. He noted that while the amount of the grant is not large in context with what the city will be required to spend, the grant will help fund much of the site planning and design work. Mayor LaMetta Wynn commented that the grant shows that the trips city officials have made to lobby are paying off.