TNR pilot program proposed

Hamilton County Advocates presents to city council

Monica Becker, a representative and board member of the Hamilton County Animal Advocates organization, spoke with members of the City Council of Webster City Monday night about the possibility of a pilot Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program in Webster City.

The TNR program would consist of members of the HCAA taking inventory of unowned cats in a given area, setting traps with the property owner’s permission, taking the cats to the local vet to be fixed, vaccinated and ear tipped for identification, and returning the cats to the same place they were trapped.

According to Becker, the program wouldn’t cost the city any money. The program would be funded through grants and donations.

“We just want to be able to tell the community that it’s okay that we’re doing TNR for reasons that that allows me to apply for grants to pay for it. That allows us to publicize it and allow community members to come forward,” said Becker.

Becker, a Stratford resident, presented a similar proposal to the City of Stratford in October of 2017. The Stratford City Council approved the pilot program.

According to Becker, as of Dec. 19, 36 total cats in Stratford have been fixed, 10 kittens were adopted out, and 26 kittens were returned to caregivers.

Although members of the council were in favor of the pilot program, no action was taken due to concern of the program violating city ordinances.

“I would personally like to see a resource like this,” said Councilman Jim Talbot.

“We’re eliminating a problem we don’t want by letting them do this,” said Councilman Brian Miller.

The council decided to table the matter for one month to give both the city and Becker time to research other city policies concerning the TNR program.

The council observed a presentation by Williams & Company P.C. on the 2016-2017 City of Webster City Audit.

The company issued an unmodified opinion.

The council approved accepting and placing the audit on file.

The second reading of an ordinance amending no parking zones near the Webster City High School may be approved. If approved parking will be prohibited on the north side of Bank Street from Beach Street to West Avenue and on the south side of Bank Street from Prospect Street to Beach Street.

The cause for this amendment stems from safety concerns at high school events.

“Our primary concern is that with vehicles on both sides of the street, it is difficult to get emergency vehicles in and out,” said Webster City Superintendent Mike Sherwood. “The district would support this amendment.”

The council approved to accept work and authorize the final payment of $12,119.53 and release a retainage of $637.87 in 30 days to The Tile Pros’s, of Webster City. This will be for completion of contract for the Millards Lane Drainage Project.

The council also approved authorizing a payment of $907 to ASTRA Security for security cameras which were installed at City Hall. During installation, an exterior camera outside the department that overlooks Second Street was left out by mistake. The total bill with the forgotten camera is $10,340. This authorization is needed to pay the additional $907 for the forgotten camera equipment.

City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez reminded residents that the pickup for real Christmas trees is Friday morning. No stands or other tree accessories will be accepted.