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DUCK COMPROMISE BACK FOR VOTE

Approval tonight may calm both friends and foes of Muscovies.
Published Feb. 14, 2008

Residents here have spent the past nine months or so with their feathers ruffled - over ducks. Muscovy ducks, to be precise.

But that could end tonight if the council votes to pass a compromise ordinance that would stop people from feeding Muscovies if duck dining becomes a nuisance to others.

The compromise, reached at last month's Kenneth City council meeting, marks the third attempt at creating a rule that would satisfy both duck devotees and duck detractors. Tonight marks the final reading of the proposal. The council meets at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Hall, 4600 58th St. N. The meeting is open to the public.

Muscovy ducks became an issue last spring with a duck population explosion. The ducks, egged on by nature lovers providing handouts, irked some who did not want the ducks, or their droppings, in their yards.

The council moved to pass an ordinance banning the feeding of wildlife only to find vocal opposition among duck lovers who claimed their property rights were being violated. The ordinance passed, but then it was discovered that it banned the feeding of almost everything except Muscovies, which are not considered wildlife by the state. They are considered feral domestic ducks.

Last month, the council tried again. And, after debate and a suggestion by council member Wanda Dudley, it arrived at a compromise. Feeding would be banned only if it rose to the level of a nuisance to others.