Each deer killed last winter during Solon's sharpshooting program cost the city taxpayers more than $611.
In total, the sharpshooting program managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture cost the city $183,353, according to a summary report of the program produced by David Hromco, a former Solon official who managed the program on a part-time basis.
Sharpshooters from the USDA culled 300 deer between January 30 and March 19. They shot using rifles with from stationary areas at secluded city-owned and some private properties.
The goal of the program was to slash Solon's deer population to reduce car wrecks caused by deer. Solon officials have said Solon has more deer than the city's geography can handle. The program is controversial, as many residents tried to stop the city from being able to hunt deer.
In the report, Hromco says that the city has traditionally calculated average cost per deer using only outside costs for sharpshooting and meat processing. Using that rubric, the program cost the city about $408 per deer. That's in line with how much past sharpshooting efforts have cost Solon.
But the city spent an additional $61,100 on the program beyond fees for the sharpshooting and processing, which brings the real cost to $611 per deer.
Hromco said in the report he believes there were some additional costs due to the program being new.
"As expected there was a learning curve that took up some time and resources during the program," he writes. "This did result in some additional cost which we would not expect in future programs."
Here's a breakdown of the program's costs:
|Meat transportation and processing||$19,253|
|Police overtime fees||$40,547|
|City personnel overtime for site monitoring and baiting||$8,602|
|Direct city costs for bait, site work and administration||$11,951|
|COST PER DEER (300 Deer culled)||$611.18|
Editor's Note: We'll have more stories on the review of Solon's deer culling program this week. Sign up for our free daily e-mail newsletter to see the stories first thing in the morning.