Large cat colonies becoming an issue in Arthur

By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Staff Writer

Before beginning the meeting agenda, Mayor Rod Randall asked that everyone keep the Bell family in their prayers, as they had experienced quite a loss recently. Harry and Mary Bell both passed away within days of each other. Harry was a teacher and principal of Arthur Elementary School for many years. The couple was very well respected in the Arthur community. After expressing their condolences, the board moved forward on the agenda.

The total expenditures reported at the most recent Village Board meeting was $381,164.94. Some of those expenditures included $283,548 in loan disbursements and softeners were purchased at $18,984.

Christy Miller announced that the renovations had begun at the Arthur Welcome Center on Friday, January 31. The center had a phone line issue, so it had been without a phone. The issue will be taken care of.

Police Chief Mike Goodman stated that the D.A.R.E program is underway. He will be with the Arthur Grade School students on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and then in Atwood on Thursdays. While the date hasn’t been set in stone, Arthur Grade School is looking at a having the D.A.R.E.

Graduation possibly on May 6. Chief Goodman will have the particulars available as soon as the date has been worked out.

The police department has had some issues with the K-9 unit lately. It has been with the department for about seven years. The unit has had several complications lately. One being the alternator has been replaced twice and there has been electronic issues. It also is in need of a new battery. “We are starting to rack up some bills with all the things going wrong with it,” said Goodman. “We are looking into replacing it within the next fiscal year and would like to try to get it on the budget,” he added.

Goodman also brought another issue to the table. “The community is starting to develop cat colonies in several areas of town. We need to take care of some of the colonies that have gotten rather large,” he said. “A few of the cats are feral. Some of these colonies have as many as 30 cats while others have about 10-25,” he informed. Goodman discussed the T,N & R (trap, neuter and release) Program as a possible solution. “Over time, the trap, neuter, and release program will reduce the number of cats,” he said. Goodman is planning on getting some input from the small animal vets in Arthur and possibly see if they would be interested in working out some type of deal to help reduce the cat colonies.

In new business, the board approved the Farnsworth Group to request bids for the clarifier rebuild project at the wastewater treatment plant. The clarifiers have become worn. Once the bids come back, the board will vote on them. Village members also approved the boundary modifications for the Douglas County Enterprise Zone (The Cronus Expansion) under Ordinance 02-03A-2020.

There was also discussion on moving the Downtown Saturday Market. Instead of using the parking lot, the market will be moved to the west side of Main Street for the 2020 season. The board approved the use of Village property under the stipulations that they produce a certificate of insurance and it still be in association as a commerce event. The market will also have to be moved elsewhere during the Arthur Strawberry Jam Festival.

Before ending their meeting, village members voted to schedule the Town-Wide Clean Up day for Saturday, May 2. There was some discussion that individuals wanted the clean-up day to be the weekend after the town-wide garage sales, but the date was not available.

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