Friday, October 13, 2006

A 150-Year-Old Load of...

A tipoff from the very helpful Jason has allowed me to bring this exciting and stinky story to you on this lovely Friday the 13th!

In all my years of hearing stories about bats coming in contact with the Average Joe of America, very seldom have I heard such a courteous, common-sense response to them as a part of daily life. Hooray for the little mosquito-eaters! It sounds like these folks have given them a very friendly home all these years.

Hmm... I wonder what they're going to do with all that guano?
Removal of bat droppings from Corinna Town Hall attic costs $7,000
By Sharon Kiley Mack

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 - Bangor Daily News

CORINNA - It’s going to be a nasty job, town officials admit, but someone has to do it.

"It’s been building up for 150 years," Town Manager Dalton Mullis said Tuesday, referring to tons of bat guano, or droppings, in the Town Hall attic. The droppings are several inches deep in places. "There is a lot there," Mullis said.

Corinna recently hired Northeastern Environmental Services of Pittsfield to remove the guano, mostly due to air quality concerns.

"Bats are protected," Mullis said, "but we need to remove the guano." The removal, which is part of the Town Hall renovation program, will cost nearly $7,000. Bats in the Town Hall — as in most historic old buildings — are no surprise to town office workers.

"This is a big building, an old building," Mullis said. "Occasionally we see one of the bats down here." The town office is located on the first floor of the three story structure.

"When they come downstairs, we see them quickly because the ceiling is white," Mullis said. But office workers just go about their business, paying no attention to the little mosquito-eaters.

"We don’t pay them any mind," Mullis said. "They find their way out or back up to the attic."

The renovation project includes the attic clean-out, a new ceiling in the auditorium, a roof repair and window restoration.


Romerican said...

Hah! What a hilarious predicament and obscene waste of funds. I'm sure some other folks would have been happy to remove that fertilizer while being protective of the 'habitat' for two grand or so.

Ah, well, maybe someone's cousin (or, more likely, campaign contributor) runs the self-dubbed environmental group.

Romerican said...

Well, then, on a belated re-reading, "a new ceiling in the auditorium, a roof repair and window restoration" does make it sound like a much better bargain.

Michelle said...

Romerican- *grin* Yes, throw that in and it does sound a bit better, doesn't it? Incidentally, Jason also mentioned via e-mail that "the bat dung story underestimates the problem. As a kid, my Dad would take me up there, and I recall seeing PILES of that stuff hanging around...I'm a bit surprised the roof hasn't fallen in yet."


Jodi Renshaw said...

I live in Corinna and am proud of our "kinder-gentler" approach to our beloved bats.

Michelle said...

Jodi- Right on! It was great to hear that someplace out there is thinking straight about these little bug-catcher (especially in the Mosquito State)!