Monday, June 27, 2016

Rats as big as cats

Mt. Lebanon has a rat problem. There, I said it. We don't want to admit it, but we do. Rats as big as cats. Our municipality ended our rat control program less than a year ago. See Celebrate Rat Amnesty Day Over the weekend, Lebo Citizens reader Nick M. saw one of these legendary creatures with his own eyes crossing Cedar by the ball fields.
Mr. McGill, Commission and Mr. Sukal,

I went out for a bike ride last evening and was biking around the baseball fields and through the parking lot next to WildCat.

As I was biking through the parking lot an animal crossed the street (Cedar) in my direction. As I got closer to the entrance the animal ran back across the street.

This animal was an enormous rat, believe it or not, yes, it was the size of a cat, maybe bigger and the tail on the thing had to be a foot long.

I never would have believed Mt. Lebanon could have rodents this big until I saw one with my own eyes. So I have to ask, what the heck is being done about this? How is it possible our community could have rodents this big?

One thing is obvious: with garbage, food scraps and overflowing trash cans at the baseball fields, the rodents that live down that way are in their glory with all the food they could ever want. That’s one problem we need to solve and I’m sure you saw my email to Dave Donnellan.

But putting that aside for now, why does Mt. Lebanon have rats of this size and what specifically is being done to correct this? I have to assume if I saw one, there must be many more.

The only word that comes to mind at the moment is “disgraceful.”

Thank you,

Nicholas Meduho

Even though our commissioners collect a yearly stipend of $3600 each, they no longer answer emails. They have delegated that responsibility to our municipal manager. Soooo, Keith McGill wrote back to Nick M.
Good morning Mr. Meduho,
I can provide you with at least a partial response. Public Works collect trash from the municipal parks and ball fields Monday - Friday during the spring and summer months , which typically when these facilities see their highest use. Typically baseball/softball teams utilizing the fields on a weekend do a reasonable job of collecting their trash and placing it in the available receptacles. Unfortunately it does not appear that that occurred this past weekend.

Turf maintenance has been performed as scheduled and the g-max rating of the field was recently tested and found to meet the requirements.


On Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 12:16 AM, Nicholas Meduho, Jr. wrote:

Mr. Donnellan,

Can you please remind me of the trash policy down at the baseball fields.

I was biking down at the fields earlier tonight and I noticed the trash cans at Middle Field were overflowing with trash. I thought that after each game or use of the fields the trash was to be bagged and disposed of.

As it stands now, who will be going down there to empty the trash cans and pick up the water and sports drink bottles that have been thrown all over the place.

Is anyone policing or spot-checking things to make sure these fields stay clean and picked up after? If not, can we start doing this?

Also, has the school district done any maintenance to the artificial turf since it opened last year? Has any maintenance been done at all by anyone?

Thank you,

Nicholas Meduho
 Nick wrote back with:
Two things:

#1 So if the fields are being used on a Friday evening, all day Saturday and all day Sunday, the trash doesn’t get picked up and the trash cans don’t get emptied until Monday which means the trash cans over flow which leaves trash on the ground and for folks to leave their trash on the ground being they have no place now to put it? This needs corrected with either additional trash receptacles or bigger ones. And we wonder why we have rats as big as cats (see my previous email).

#2 Can we backtrack to find out who used the field over the weekend to find out who the culprits are? A reasonable job of collecting trash and placing it in the available receptacles is not good enough Mr. McGill, I’m sure these folks don’t leave trash laying all over their houses…well maybe they do.

These rules should be and need to be consistently reinforced at each and every SAB meeting. This ain’t rocket science folks.

So now I have to wonder…how long has this been going on with no corrective action and why are we paying these huge salaries to folks who should be on top of this instead of the residents.

Mr. McGill, you have the ability to fire and hire. Maybe the time has come to clean house.
The good manager that Keith McGill is, responded quickly and answered Nick with the following:
Mr. Meduho, 
While there were two cans that were overflowing this morning when I checked, there were at least 5 other cans in close proximity that had room for additional trash..This is not a capacity issue, this is a behavioral issue. I will ask Mr. Donnellan to remind coaches that they need to ensure that all trash has been properly placed in the available receptacles.
Instead of this becoming a Sports Advisory Board issue with Dave Brumfield as commission liaison, Keith is forced to continue the email exchange with Nick. You may remember how Dave Brumfield insisted that we needed to spend over a million dollars for artificial turf and rules were created to maintain this unnecessary expenditure.

Nick replied with:
Mr. McGill,

Let’s back up and review because I checked too.

At Middle Field, there are three trash cans, two on either side of the bleachers (that get filled immediately) and one way, way, way down at the other end of the field (see pics below).

If you are expecting people to walk way down there to empty their trash, it’s never going to happen. You see that little brown speck to the right of the port-a john in the picture above, that’s a trash can.

Two tiny trash cans are not nearly enough. It’s obvious that either we don’t have enough trash cans in this area and/or the trash cans are not large enough to handle all the trash. The size of those trash cans are the same size that most residents use at their houses. So basically you expect 3 days of trash from hundreds of people to fit into the same size trash can that most folks don’t fill up in a week. This part is not behavior, it’s common sense...
Dixon Field has trash cans all over the place, like every 10 feet or so. The thinking over there is good but do we really need all those cans over there?

Why not transfer some of those cans over to Middle Field? Such a novel idea, isn’t it?

Another question: why are we not encouraging recycling at the baseball fields. All trash including hundreds of plastic bottles every week goes into one trash can, no recycling. Why is that?

Here is my question. Do rats eat these? They are all around the upper Rockwood Park lot and basketball court.


Jason Margolis said...

Nick M. for MTL mayor! ... First, we need to create the position, which is sorely needed. Then, elect Nick, which is also sorely needed.

Anonymous said...

I do have to make one correction. The trash cans that are there are 55 gallons in size. I didn't realize 55 gallon drums were so small. Nevertheless, even at 55 gallons these cans are filling up way too fast and they are not being emptied enough times. It's obvious that 2 of these cans are not enough even though Mr. McGill believes that folks should walk over from Middle Field to Dixon Field and use those trash cans. Folks, that just ain't going to happen. My suggestion would be to pull some of the trash cans from Dixon over to Middle to accommodate more folks with their trash, Mr. McGill discounted that suggestion. His definition of close proximity is across the parking lot at the other field.

Also, there are no recycling bins/cans in close proximity to any of these bleachers where they could be. Again, you have to walk over to Dixon Field over near the concession stand if you want to recycle your plastic bottles. Again, that ain't gonna happen. So it's obvious that we are not encouraging recycling where it would be an ideal place to be doing so. I'd bet quite a bit of money that the majority of the space in those trash cans are taken up by plastic containers like water and sports drink bottles.

This isn't rocket science folks, it's basic common sense. If you need more trash cans in one location you put more there...end of story. Dixon Field has way more trash cans than it needs, bring a few over...problem solved.

Nick M.

Rita Austin said...

There is rat control in our county.

Anonymous said...

Rita, thank you for the provided link...the information provided on the website is fantastic.

Nick M.