Two stealth radar devices will be purchased by Fenton officials to gather citywide data about speeding details and traffic counts.

Fenton 5th Precinct Police Sgt. Brandt Wathen said the Black Cat-branded portable devices will also be deployed to help enforce speed limits. The devices can detect two lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction. The software enables comprehensive reports, including hourly auto totals, speed data and multi-day survey summaries.

The purchase was fueled by public complaints about speeding problems in the Uthoff Valley Elementary and surrounding subdivision streets. City personnel said the devices will be attached to poles and will be shared between police officers and the city’s public works department personnel.

Two of these radar recorders are expected to cost $9,100.

New City Administrator

Nikki Finkbiner, Fenton’s former community development director, was promoted to city administrator by aldermen in a July 25 closed session.

Finkbiner replaces Lisa Peck, who resigned her 11-month position on June 15 to become the city manager of Hannibal.

As a government administrator, Finkbiner has experience in resource planning, economic development, policy analysis and grant writing. She first joined the Fenton staff during March 2003 as city planner. She advanced to Fenton’s community development director in February 2012.

Deer Control in Fenton

Despite not having any current Fenton-specific data regarding actual deer population numbers in the city, Fenton aldermen recently authorized city staffers to work on a deer control ordinance — one that board members said will likely allow bowhunters to harvest deer in city parks and Fenton-owned properties.

Starting on July 11, board members were encouraged by Alderman Andrew Sobey Jr. to discuss potential deer issues.

Fenton resident Dean Speidel said everyone should “step away from the emotional role” and nature-anchored enjoyment of deer. Instead, he painted a picture of diseases, ticks, traffic problems, predator attraction issues such as from coyotes, and potential seasonal deer violent behaviors.

Speidel was immediately followed by comments from Tim Belleville, who said he represented a group of certified bowhunters that formed in 2004. He said they had hunted deer in eight or nine municipalities since, killing 1,300 or 1,400 of them. He added that the meat, when possible, was donated to the Share The Harvest program and the nearby Endangered Wolf Center.

Questions arose about residents’ safety, deer baiting for easy hunting purposes, backgrounds as well as skills of bowhunters, legalities of discharging projectiles, costs of such efforts, healthy deer capacity figures for Fenton’s terrain, what happens to the meat, total number of deer that bowhunters will be allowed to kill, and public versus private sizes of targeted property for hunts.

After it was noted at a July 25 board meeting that most other cities involved in deer killing are first prompted by current research that verifies deer overpopulation, Fenton staff were instructed to seek options regarding how to conduct an impartial survey of local deer numbers independent of Belleville’s estimated numbers.