Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cats becoming a hairy problem for Dixon residents

J-E News Editor
Mayor Linda Frederick told members of the Dixon Commission on Monday that cat’s were becoming a growing problem in their city, stating that at least four families had lodged complaints with the city.

“People cannot set outside at their own house because there is cat fur on everything and the smell is horrible,” Frederick reported. “One person even came in and said that he can’t set outside a night because the cat food that is being put out is attracting skunks.”
The reported issue is not residents that own cats, rather residents that are feeding what are believed to be stray cats.
“Has anybody taken ownership of these cats?” asked commissioner David Royster.
“They’ve taken ownership by feeding them,” said Frederick. “But if you were to ask them they’d tell you they don’t own cats.”
Mayor Frederick and the commissioners discussed that ‘feral cats’ had recently been on the news in the city of Evansville, IN, saying that the Vanderburg County humane society had been trying to capture the animals in that area.
“We’d have to get somebody from another county to handle it, because the Webster County Dog Warden doesn’t handle cats,” said commissioner Arthur Junior Little.
“Even if we picked them up ourselves, we’d have to take them to the humane society in Madisonville,” Frederick told the commission. “They are the nearest place that handles cats.”
“It’s hard to say what is more humane, to catch them in a trap and haul them off or to let them stay free and starve,” added Royster. He admitted that at an earlier time he had fed two starving strays that had lived near his house.
In the end the commission couldn’t come up with a good solution to the problem other than to ask residents not to feed strays. Doing so could be considered a violation of the city’s nuisance ordinance. A letter stating that will soon be posted in The Journal-Enterprise.
In other business, the city of Dixon will soon be taking possession of a residence at 71 US 41A.
“Wells Fargo wants to donate that property to us free and clear,” Mayor Frederick reported.
The two and a half acre lot is located near the center of Dixon. Commissioners reported that the house on the property needs to be torn down, but there is a garage that could be used as a storage facility for city equipment.
“We can do anything we want with the property as long as it’s for the betterment of the community and to stabilize our town,” said Frederick. “We don’t have to decide what to do with the property tonight, but we do need to decide if we are going to accept it.”
The commission voted unanimously to accept the property. Mayor Frederick suggested that one thing they could look would be to build a farmers market at that location.
On Saturday the city hung the first of three murals painted by artist  Eddie Patmore in downtown Dixon. During the meeting the commission took a brief brake to travel across the street and present Patmore with a plaque of appreciation.
In other business, Mayor Frederick announced that the city had received a letter from the Department of Local Government telling them that they might receive a line item grant in the amount of $100,000. That money can be used for roads and equipment.

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