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Cat ordinance, other matters discussed by Culver Council

November 24, 2010

In one of its briefest meetings of the year, Culver’s Town Council heard from Culver residents Mark and Becky Damore concerning its proposed “cat ordinance,” already passed on second reading and slated for a public hearing and possible final passage at the November 23 meeting.
During the Nov. 9 meeting, the Damores asked how the town planned to police the ordinance, which aims to control a feral cat population some feel is a nuisance and health concern in some parts of town. Becky Damore noted the ordinance focuses on those who feed feral cats, but ought to make a priority of spaying and neutering the animals.
“That (spaying and neutering) really helps with population control,” said Damore. “If you find people who take (cats) in, if they’re not spayed and neutered, then you fine them.”
Mark Damore explained his wife has already spayed and neutered a great many cats in the area.
“Feeding has nothing to do with it,” added Becky of the ordinance’s present emphasis on fining those who feed the feral animals. “Two cats become 10 become 20 (if unspayed or neutered). An outdoor animal has a life cycle of about two to three years. Once you fix them, that life will slowly fade out...(you should) pass a spay and neuter ordinance instead of a feeding ferals ordinance. The way I understand it, many people come here for the summer who have cats (and then the cats) have babies, and they (cat owners) leave for the summer.”
She further noted some other Indiana municipalities have already enacted spay and neuter ordinances, which have been very successful. She suggested a fund-raiser or similar endeavor, since she acknowledged spaying and neutering is “really costly.”
In other discussion, audience member Harold Kuczwara asked the Council if a reduced speed limit could be considered for the area of State Road 10 near Tamarack Road and School Street, and heading to State Road 17. Noting he’d seen two Culver Academies students and — in a separate incident — a young jogger nearly hit by a vehicle in the area recently, Kuczwara asked if the town would consider lowering speeds there. Town Manager Michael Doss noted the road is out of the town’s jurisdiction, being a state road, but said he would contact the Indiana Department of Transportation to investigate the possibility.
The Council passed ordinance 2010-007, a long-discussed revision to Culver’s zoning ordinances. Council member Lynn Overmyer asked if the vote should be delayed in the absence of fellow members Sally Ricciardi and Ginny Munroe, though remaining members Ed Pinder and Ralph Winters said they had no problem moving ahead with the vote, and Culver Building Inspector Russ Mason said language had been removed at Ricciardi’s suggestion, so there was no need for further delay.
Permits are being submitted by Mike Strang of the Bonar Group/GAI for work on Lake Maxinkuckee’s outlet on West Shore Drive, following several months of planning and negotiations towards the work. Meanwhile, Doss suggested representatives of the town and Marshall County should meet to hammer out who will take responsibility for which portions of the work, adding an easement should also be sought for a property owner along the outlet on whose land some of the work will have to be done.
Audience member Doris Breyfogle emphasized concern over many residents’ raking of leaves into the streets, which can cause clogging of town storm sewers. Audience member Leroy Bean, however, said if leaves aren’t picked up within a certain time frame, grass may die beneath longstanding lead piles, and if leaves are picked up by a town backhoe, damage is done to residents’ terraces. Town Clerk Casey Howard re-emphasized the need to keep leaves out of streets to prevent clogging issues.
The Council approved $1,655.86 in parts for Culver’s four snow plows to prepare them for this winter. He also noted the town’s leaf truck has been down, but would be repaired within the next day or two.
Town attorney Jim Clevenger asked the Council to look over a draft of an open container ordinance he created in response to a request at the last meeting.
Winters stressed the need for residents to wear bicycle helmets, especially when children are riding, noting he’s seen several parents and children riding without helmets in recent weeks and months.

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