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Manor Council declines to act on cat complaints

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By Chris Foreman
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Despite a Manor couple's plea for more borough action on feral cats, council declined last week to propose any new government regulations or to designate a borough “cat-control officer.”

Nick and Toni Michel of Observatory Street have complained over the past three meetings about dozens of cats that they say defecate in their gravel driveway and yard.

Though there is a state statute concerning at-large dogs being a nuisance, no such regulation exists for cats, Solicitor John Campfield said.

Various animal shelters will spay or neuter a feral cats if they are trapped and brought to the shelters, but the person who traps the animals is responsible for returning them to the same area, officials said.

For the borough to enforce a local ordinance declaring cats as a nuisance, officials would have to be able to prove who owns them so they could direct an animal-control officer to issue a citation, Campfield said.

“You can't fine a cat,” he said.

Campfield said borough officials aren't insensitive to the Michels' situation but that the cats might be creating a private nuisance to them that doesn't rise to the level of a public nuisance.

Nick Michel of reminded council of a petition he presented last month that included 21 names of people he said also are frustrated by the cats.

“If you want, I can bring tons of people down to this meeting,” Michel said.

Michel then offered to be appointed as the borough's designated “cat-control officer” to transport trapped cats to animal shelters, but council didn't take him up on that.

Councilman Jim Morgan suggested the Michels contact a Tarentum-based organization, Homeless Cat Management Team, that provides spay and neuter services.

“These guys educate you on how to keep them out of your yard, as well,” Morgan said.

Brandywine work

Tresco Paving will do the paving and drainage improvements throughout the Woods of Brandywine housing development for $83,290.

Council is paying Tresco through the $174,000 in sequestered funds that AmeriServ Financial Bank held after Jana Development defaulted on its developer's agreement.

Borough officials have said the work is necessary to bring the streets up to requirements in the borough code.

Tower ordinance

Council rescheduled a hearing on a proposed zoning amendment regarding telecommunication towers to July 17 at 6:30 p.m.

The hearing originally was scheduled for last week, but Westmoreland County officials needed more time to review the proposed amendment, Campfield said.

The amendment would limit towers to properties zoned for agricultural or industrial uses.

Recycling bin

Allied Waste is providing a recycling container near the parking lot to the left of the library so residents may dispose their recyclables for free.

Residents may drop off glass tin, aluminum, plastic numbered from one to seven, cardboard, mixed paper, newspapers and magazines.

New officer

Council hired Robert Kwiatkowski of Manor as a part-time police officer.

Part-time officers make $12.65 per hour during the one-year probation period. Afterward, they earn $15.81 per hour.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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