Soddy Daisy Ducks To Get Healthier Food

Friday, March 07, 2014 - by Gail Perry

The city parks in Soddy Daisy that are on the shoreline of Lake Chickamauga have a lot of ducks, geese and other waterfowl that people like to feed. Todd Howard from Vaulted Vending told the board that his company installs vending machines that sell floating protein pellets to feed the birds. This food makes them healthier than the bread that many people give them and the pellets can also reduce the feces left behind by 60 percent, he said.

At the commission meeting Thursday night, the company was given permission to install two to three machines at Kids Park / North Park and at Holly Park where there is a boat ramp.

In addition, the company will hang signs to educate the public about feeding the birds.

 Mr. Howard said this would not attract more birds because the migration patterns are naturally defined, but that they would learn to stay close to the feeding stations. Using this food should change the attitude of the birds as well as the cleanliness of the lake banks, he told the commissioners.

 Vaulted Vending already is providing this service at 150 communities from here to Florida and have seen good results and have had no complaints. It will cost Soddy Daisy nothing, and any profits will be shared 50/50 with the city. There are no contracts involved and the company will remove the vending machines at any time if the city is not satisfied.

Gary Aslinger owns two rental houses on Pine Street and North Parkway in Soddy Daisy. When the land was originally subdivided, a right of way was dedicated that is the width of the present day road plus an additional 30 feet, with plans to build a double road divided with an island in the middle. That never was done and now the 30 foot strip of property runs in front of the houses and is maintained by the city.

Mr. Aslinger came to the meeting to ask the city to abandon that right of way and let the property revert to the homeowners. If that is done he plans to build a duplex next door to one of his houses. Mayor Janice Cagle said that had been discussed before, but at the time, the majority of neighbors did not want it abandoned.

City Attorney Sam Elliott said that the procedure would need to include having a public hearing on abandonment.  The outcome of that meeting would be given to the board of commissioners for their consideration. The city manager will get the legal descriptions of lots prior to sending letters to each neighbor. Additionally, it would have to go before the planning commission. The entire process will take a couple of months.

Commissioner Gene Shipley presented a check for $5,000 to Soddy Daisy from County Commissioner Fred Skillern. The money comes from his discretionary fund and is designated to build a small pavilion at Kids Park. The board of commissioners also approved an increase of $600 for a contract with the city’s auditors.

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