ST. PARIS – The village council discussed a several-week effort to address the feral cat population during Monday’s regular meeting.
Mayor Joe Reneer reiterated that The Champaign County Animal Welfare League would begin the trap, neuter and return process on feral cats across the village on Tuesday, a project expected to take several weeks. Live traps were being placed in highly populated areas around the village on Monday evening.
The feral cats will be caught, sterilized, vaccinated, wormed and treated with flea and tick preventative. Any illnesses or injuries will be treated.
The cats will be returned to their colony locations and have their ear tipped to easily recognize they have been sterilized. No residents or business owners will be charged for these services.
Residents who know of any area overrun by feral cats were asked to contact the Animal Welfare League at 937-834-5236.
Reneer said the village received a letter from Alley Cat Allies, an organization from Maryland, extending gratitude for implementing a trap, neuter and return program in the village.
Council accepts bid for rental property
Council accepted a bid for the sale of property previously approved to rent at 9746 W. U.S. Route 36.
After the sealed bid was opened, Reneer said the village received a letter from James W. Cupps offering to purchase the property for $120,000. A check for $12,000, or 10 percent of the offer, was included with the letter.
Council approved the offer 4-1, with council member Tyler Adkins voting no. Council member Jana Crawford was absent.
Council discusses mayor’s court position
During the April 18 meeting, council accepted the resignation of St. Paris Mayor’s Court Clerk Beverly Gleason effective June 30.
On Monday, Village Administrator Joe Sampson asked council for their opinion on filling the position.
Reneer said a couple of people had contacted him with interest but he had not received any resumes. He asked for potential candidates to provide resumes to him or Sampson this week.
In a separate matter, council later approved changes to the village employee handbook that would state all village employees are paid weekly, except the mayor and village council members are paid monthly instead of bi-annually.
Sampson said the mayor and council members have been paid monthly already and the handbook needed to reflect this action.
Police cruiser in incident
During the safety committee portion of the meeting, council member Larry Watkins said a new St. Paris Police cruiser was in a minor mishap. Watkins said the vehicle sustained no significant damage and there is a recall that might cover the cost of the damage.
Watkins said minor damage occurred to a garage the vehicle struck. The incident was believed to take place a week prior to April 28 on Dugan Street.
“(The officer) put the vehicle in park, got out to handle the call, turned around just in time to see the cruiser moving forward and tried to stop it and didn’t,” Reneer said. He noted the middle section of the garage was pushed in.
The following weekend, Reneer said a recall on the vehicle and several other vehicles was issued for vehicles where drivers believed the vehicle was in park but the vehicle would not go into park in the transmission.
Sampson said the village’s insurance company was notified of the recall and the village received a quote for the repairs on Monday.
“They had indicated that if there is a legitimate recall that would be the culprit of the cause of what happened that they will fight that for us,” Sampson added. He said less than $1,500 in damages was done to the residence.
Watkins also noted officers have asked residents who have vehicles outside to lock them.
In other action:
•Council authorized the JSP Fire District to use village equipment for crack sealing in their parking lot. The measure was approved 4-1 with Adkins voting no.
•The village’s farmers market will start Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The farmers market will be held every Friday until Oct. 14.
•Reneer said mosquito spraying should take place around May 11 and could change due to weather.
•Residents interested in participating in the free community garden were asked to contact Joyce Bowlin or council member Lynn Miller.
•Reneer said the Champaign County Relay for Life will hold a cake decorating contest/auction May 15 at 1 p.m. in the Michaels Building at the Champaign County Fairgrounds. The county’s Relay for Life will take place on May 20 and 21 at the fairgrounds.
•A Pony Wagon Committee meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Harmon Park building.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.