The cost to retrofit windows with bird-friendly glass and film on city-owned buildings in Appleton, Wis., was too much of a financial burden for city council members. The city’s Common Council voted 10-5 to halt Resolution 6-R-23.

The cost to retrofit windows with bird-friendly glass and film on city-owned buildings in Appleton, Wis., was too much of a financial burden for city council members.

Members stated though it would cost only $10,000 to retrofit certain buildings throughout the city, the additional cost of equipment and labor would be too costly. The resolution originally targeted city-owned buildings 10,000 square feet or larger. It also focused on retrofitting city-owned windows that met those dimensions. However, the resolution, as initially written, was deemed potentially illegal.

The authors amended the resolution, removing the requirement to create a city ordinance regarding bird-safe glass requirements. The amended document stipulated that city-owned buildings could be retrofitted when it was financially feasible.

Following the amendments, four city-owned buildings met the criteria for retrofit, including the library, City Hall, a water treatment plant and a parking facility.

Regardless of the steps taken to pacify detractors, most council members remained concerned about costs. Council member Kristin Alfheim argued that educating the public is better than spending money to retrofit city-owned buildings. She said, “We are not in a situation to be trying to help the birds when there are people that we should be helping with $10,000.”

Alex Schultz, the primary author of the resolution, stated that the city’s building code does little for “other creatures on the planet and the wildlife that exists in the city, and the code that exists for those is usually about abatement or management.”

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