Friday, August 19th, 2011
By Margie Wuebker
New employee keeps geese moving
  NEW BREMEN - The newest employee at the local wastewater department ruffles feathers and keeps unwelcome visitors at bay, but village officials have no complaints.
After all, he works cheaply and requires no health insurance or costly fringe benefits other than a well-balanced diet, a roof over his head and occasional dog treats.
Chase, a 9-month-old Border Collie, serves as director of goose control at village-owned property off North Walnut Street. His mission is making life downright unpredictable for Canada geese whose noisy honking and messy habits make them unwanted in these parts.
"Border Collies herd geese but don't kill them," said council member Dennis Burnell, who first proposed purchasing a dog after other eradication efforts failed. "Geese get tired of the hassle and move on to a safer environment with fewer interruptions."
The black and white canine takes off like a bullet when geese land at the wastewater department pond.
"He loves to chase geese so he rightfully lives up to his name," wastewater superintendent Jerry Fischbach said with a smile. "He rips into them like a bowling ball and they skedaddle to the center of the pond.
Burnell asked village council members about purchasing a dog last year after contacts at Ivy Hills Country Club and Lunken Airport in Cincinnati reported Border Collies solved their geese-related problems.
"I've been a council member for 12-plus years and nothing has generated more concerns or comments than the ongoing problem with geese," Burnell said at the time. "We spent $2,500 on a sound system that is sitting in a drawer because it didn't work."
Chemicals also failed and even village administrator Wayne York's night forays on a golf cart into the fenced area around the wastewater treatment plant failed to chase away the birds. The village even obtained a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to shake nests as means of preventing eggs from hatching.
Officials purchased the mild-mannered pup for $190 from a northern Indiana breeder. Additional costs included computer chip identification, neutering, immunizations and a dog house complete with run - the total far less than the unsuccessful sound system.
As many as 300 geese once nested at the fenced-in area surrounding the wastewater plant. This year, 70 to 80 squatters built nests with only 13 located inside the fenced area. Few of the eggs hatched due to periodic shaking. Fewer geese are expected each ensuing year.
"We had a problem with seagulls before he arrived on the scene," Fischbach said."They left and never returned once Chase started patrolling the property. Getting rid of the geese will be a three-year process."
The community will have the opportunity to see Chase during the Bremenfest parade at 1 p.m. Sunday.
"The highlight of his day is riding around in our pickup trucks," Fischbach said. "He puts both paws on the door and hangs halfway out the window getting far more than his share of attention.
"Chase loves people of all ages," Fischbach said. "He expects attention from old and young alike because he is New Bremen's renowned goose-chasing dog."

Correction:
Chase, the Border Collie who serves as the unofficial director of goose control for the village, will not be appearing in Sunday's Bremenfest Parade as stated in the story.
The error was made in editing.
Additional online stories for this date
Print edition only stories for this date
• Absent members stall location debate
• Wangler seeks new trial after allegation of juror misconduct
• Panel member predicts success in spending cuts
• Flush with funds - District has money for septics
• Officials OK $1.1 million debt for lagoon
• Sentencing set for woman in handicapped son's death
• Redskins win on tiebreaker
a_d
Today
70°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
23%
Tonight
45°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
23%
Tomorrow
62°
Partly Sunny
6%
Tomorrow Night
41°
Mostly Clear
Tuesday
70°
Mostly Sunny
Tuesday Night
47°
Mostly Clear
Wednesday
73°
Mostly Sunny
Wednesday Night
51°
Mostly Clear
Thursday
77°
Mostly Sunny
Thursday Night
53°
Mostly Clear
Friday
78°
Mostly Sunny
Friday Night
54°
Mostly Clear
3 Day
Extended
a_da_d
camera_logo Photo Albums
Friday, September 19
index pict
Friday, September 19
index pict
video_logoOnline Video
Wednesday, August 27
index pict
Marion Local prepares for football season
Tuesday, August 26
index pict
St. Marys' Schmitmeyer golfs for guys team