FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Once upon a midnight dreary, a northern New Jersey town became weary, waiting to paint its water tower after a pair of ravens came knocking at its door.

Edgar Allan Poe never pondered the problem Fair Lawn officials face after a resident spotted a nest on the structure and called the state.

Active raven nests are protected by federal and state laws so the $1.5 million project has been put on hold until the baby ravens hatch and fly away.

Mayor John Cosgrove said the stop work will cost Fair Lawn an extra $20,000.

“I’m all for preserving wildlife but the cost to the borough, an additional $20,000 to the project, because we have some cute birds is a little outlandish,” Cosgrove told 1010 WINS.

The additional cost covers the rent for scaffolding.

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