It’s finally on the agenda. On Wednesday night, the Bremerton City Council will tackle an issue long discussed, but never dealt with — not recently anyway.
Yep, we are talking about raccoons.
Councilman Eric Younger told me he’s lived in different homes in Bremerton and has seen problems with raccoons in each one. He is most concerned with neighbors who feed them, thus creating a reliant critter population that can create problems in neighborhoods.
“I’m trying to come up with a solution,” Younger said. “To the best of my knowledge, no one has addressed this.”
Here’s what’s on the table. The city administration has responded with a potential change to city code that would include making it unlawful to feed raccoons outdoors at anytime. Violators would be subject to a $125 fine for a first offense; $250 for a second offense in the same year and $500 for a third and each subsequent offense in the same year.
Failing to respond to an infraction would become a criminal misdemeanor offense as well, and could be subject to civil action from the city.
Here’s the other part of the plan: the city would hire a United States Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist for up to 80 hours a year, at a cost of $3,500. They will assist the city “in the form of educational information, non-lethal techniques or direct control.”
“If direct control is necessary, the most effective and safe tools and techniques available will be utilized,” the program plan says.
I think that means the wildlife specialist will have the ability to use traps and to shoot raccoons in the city.
I’d like to hear from my fellow Bremertonians about this issue. Do you have a raccoon problem? Do you love them and keep one as a pet? (Not recommended.) Drop me a note below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this issue.