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Old Brookville's new laws target ducks, dogs

Ducks, dogs and drainage were at the heart of two related local laws passed Tuesday in Old Brookville to help reduce stormwater pollution.

People are not permitted to feed wild or domestic waterfowl on village property, according to the first measure. The practice could hurt birds' health and ultimately lead to "water pollution, beach closures and the like," Mayor Bernard Ryba said.

The prohibition was required under the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or SPDES, permit for Old Brookville, village attorney John Chase said. The program aims to control wastewater and stormwater discharges.

Violators could face a fine of up to $500 for the first offense, according to the law, which passed by a 4-0 vote Tuesday, with one village trustee absent.

"Quack, quack," Trustee Michael DerGarabedian jokingly answered when Ryba sought a second to his motion for a vote.

Waterfowl kept as pets may be fed on their owner's private property.

The second measure, also to comply with SPDES and also passing 4-0, expanded a definition in an ordinance of the village code by swapping the reference "animals" for "dogs."

Owners may not permit their pets to deposit animal waste on public property or the private property of others without immediately removing the waste, according to the amendment.

The measures provided a moment of levity to a meeting that would later include discussions of cellphone antenna networks and permits for multimillion-dollar building projects.

"That means I can't go to your house and let my dog poop there," Trustee Marilyn Genoa said.

Chase said, "That seems fair to me."

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