Clayton Town Council vowed at their meeting Monday to hold a public workshop in the near future to discuss cat problems in the town.
The decision to hold the workshop stemmed from concerns some residents in town have with owners letting their cats roam free. One particular concerned resident is Beverly Wilson, who lives on Longwood Lane.
Wilson addressed council at the meeting regarding her neighbor’s cats finding a home on Wilson’s steps.
“It’s just a nuisance in my neighborhood. I come home at 10 – I get off at 9 – get to my neighborhood and the neighborhood is just full of cats,” Wilson said.
Wilson, who has called police to deal with the situation, wants council to create a cat ordinance to deal with the issue.
Mayor Tom Horn informed Wilson she wasn’t the only resident in town with complaints but it’s not as simple as creating an ordinance.
Clayton currently has an animal ordinance that deals with dogs but there is no ordinance specifically on cats.
Councilman David Letterman asked Wilson if she had any suggestions on how to solve the problem. Council had only been able to find three municipalities in the state with a cat ordinance and all three lack ways to enforce the ordinance.
“We need an enforcement mechanism. We need to be able to, for the sake of just passing a law to blindly placate a complaint that’s not doing anything in my opinion. We need to pass it, have some way to enforce it and move forward.”
Town solicitor Scott Chambers said that since it appears to be a problem with owners and their cats versus a feral cat issue, Wilson may be better off going to civil court.
“I think sometimes that governmental bodies like this one can ask ordinances to address a problem that are sometimes ill-suited to actually address the issue,” Chambers said.
Since it’ll take some time for council to further research the issue, the workshop will most likely be after the August council meeting.
Townhouses on Rodney Street?
Hurlock brought council up to speed about the potential development on South Rodney Street, which originally had a preliminary plan for apartments.
Hurlock said an individual has purchased the property with the intention of building townhouses. However, there were some issues with this in reference to the preliminary plan. Hurlock expects the individual to submit a preliminary plan for approval it the near future.
“If you see a sign out there on South Rodney, that’s what it is,” Hurlock said.
Swimming pool concerns
Hurlock said he’s been kept busy lately with grass complaints but he plans to focus his attention now on swimming pools.
Any resident with swimming pools over two feet needs a permit. Hurlock also said once a pool is constructed there are regulations residents need to follow.
“I’ve seen some pools left open and I don’t know if people have been watching the news but there have been children drowning across the country in swimming pools and ponds,” Hurlock said. “So I know sometimes people seem to think we get in their business a little too much but we will be enforcing if we receive complaints.”
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