OAKLAND — Councilors took the first step Wednesday to reduce the mess caused by ducks and geese near bodies of water in town.

They approved the first reading of proposal that bans feeding ducks and geese at Lake Messalonskee, known locally as Snow Pond, and at the public swim area at Pleasant Point on McGrath Pond.

Feces from birds congregating at those areas in the summer contaminate the water and grassy areas, according to newly elected council chairman Michael Perkins.

“Step one is to control the feeding,” Perkins said.

The proposal faces two more votes for approval.

In other business, Police Chief Michael Tracy reported that domestic violence incidents seemed to be on the increase recently and that some recent situations had involved weapons.

In 2011, Oakland police responded to 13,780 calls for service, compared to about 10,800 a year ago, he said.

Town councilors also elected Dana Wrigley vice chairman. Mark Fisher, a nine-year council veteran, took his oath of office, as did Regional School Unit 18 Director Laura Tracy and Budget & Advisory Committee member Dennis McClellan.

The meeting was abbreviated because Town Manager Peter Nielsen, who was slated to deliver a report with updates on tax-acquired property and the sewer project, was absent due to illness.

The council’s next meeting is at 6 p.m. Jan. 25.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

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