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Sharon Hopes Special Lights Deter Geese From Beaches

Recreation department buys four units.

Sharon officials will try discouraging geese from the and Community Center Beach grass by using special lights.

The Recreation Department has purchased four AwayWithGeese units, and may need one more, Town Administrator Benjamin Puritz told selectmen, and health board Chairman Suzi Peck, on Tuesday night.

The 26-inch high units emit light that will "deter the geese from congregating" at the two beaches, Puritz said.

The solar-powered devices have been used in public recreation areas elsewhere, and "apparently it's been quite effective," he said.

Peck said that "if it works for a few years, it's a reasonable solution, and then we change it up."

Peck was meeting with selectmen to discuss addressing "high bacteria counts in the lake" at times during the summer.

The health board hasn't tested to determine the bacteria's source, she said. But street runoff is one possibility, and "an obvious source of the problem can be the geese," Peck said.

Members of Sharon's Lake Management Study Committee have met with the health board to discuss dogs at the beaches, she said. Geese came up during this discussion.

"I think some people think it's the dogs. Some people think it's the geese. Some people don't know what to think," Peck said.

"But it does seem the geese are an obvious culprit, because they are there all the time."

The health board wrote to selectmen asking to discuss putting up a fence, as had been done before, she said.

Selectman William Heitin said the fence was last tried 25 years ago.

"And the reason we stopped putting up the fence was because it was ineffective. It didn't work at all," Heitin said.

The geese still reached the grass, he said. And during mornings, "the entire beachfront would be full of geese, because they couldn't swim out," he said.

"We would spend hours every morning just picking up the remnants of the geese," he said.

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