A New Audience

FALCONER – The decision to change the start time for the biweekly Ellicott Town Council meeting to get more residents to attend worked.

On Monday, during the first meeting held at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., six residents attended the meeting. The board made the decision at its last meeting in May to advance the start time of the meeting hoping it would be more convenient for people to attend.

Prior to the start of the meeting Monday, Robert Heintzelman, Ward 2 councilman, asked some of the residents if they were attending the meeting because of the new start time and they said, ”yes.” They said it is more convenient for them to attend at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m.

Last month, Cecil Miller, Ellicott supervisor, said it had been several months since any members of the public had attended a meeting.

”For whatever reason, 7 p.m. is not working,” Miller said. ”We have very few people attending. It has been six months since we had someone other than our county legislator attend the meeting. We’re going to try something different to see if it works.”

The board meets the first and third Monday of the month at the town administration building located at 215 S. Work St., Falconer.

In other business, the council discussed the overpopulation of deer in West Ellicott. Lisa Vanstrom, Ward 1 councilwoman, said she talked to a state Department of Environmental Conservation official about the town’s options. She said the most affordable one would be the deer-damage permit program, which is also known as a “bait-and-shoot” program. She said the program would need to run between Jan. 1 and the end of March because that is when the DEC allows it to be done. She said a plan would need to be developed for the town and submitted to the DEC to proceed with a deer-damage permit program. Heintzelman said town officials should get a group together to work on a plan to give to DEC officials. Vanstrom said if the program is done, it needs to be done for several years in order for it to be effective.

The village of Celoron, which is in the town of Ellicott, held a DEC-approved deer-damage permit program in 2011 and 2012. A total of 44 deer were killed during those two years. Celoron did not continue the program in 2013. One reason given by Celoron officials for not continuing the deer-damage permit program is the lack of other municipalities running a similar program.