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Handling stray animals a concern in Slatington

Published May 26. 2011 05:00PM

At present the Slatington borough is without a contract on who should handle stray animals when they are taken into borough custody. The discussion was incited as a result of the borough recently having to shelter a dog for two weeks, and most recently housing a cat for the same amount of time. It was unclear as to who was to clean the cages of sequestered domestic animals, especially over the weekends.

Stray animals are held in a cage at the Slatington sewer plant. This is a real problem on weekends, when borough employees are not around. Slatington Borough Police Chief David Rachman said if the Police Department is to be responsible there needs to be more money in the budget.

Rachman also said a contract must be entered into as quickly as possible in case we come across more strays. Several animal organizations handle these matters for other boroughs and municipalities.

"Why can't we put a picture of the (animal) on our website," Kris Burek asked to help find the owner. Burek, who is a councilwoman, attended the committee meeting as a resident. The committee also discussed the possibility of instituting a fee for picking up strays and a daily fee for boarding the animals.

Burek addressed the committee about the Penn Vest loan that is currently due. She said, "We discussed how to pay the debt and nothing was done. Now we have to pay the piper. We are looking at replacements at the sewer plant," she said, "where are we going to get the money, gentlemen?"

In an email, Burek stated, "Last week $10,714 was deducted from the Sewer Account to make the first payment. On June 15 a bond payment of over $300,000 will be deducted from the Sewer Account. This will leave the account struggling to have sufficient money for repairs, supplies, etc."

Councilman Dan Stevens said that after the payment there would be approximately $300,000 left in the account, which is sufficient to cover upcoming repairs and expenses. Burek insisted that the borough needs to generate funds to augment the repayment by collecting sewer and water payments from landlords or apartment dwellers that currently do not follow the same rate structure as residential home owners.

She also said that a resident called her to say they were going to rent their Slatington home and move out of the borough because they could no longer afford to live here.

The Finance/Planning/Zoning/Public Safety and Human Community Services Committee meet on the last Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. They decide what issues are important enough to put on the monthly Council meeting agenda.

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