Skaneateles' transfer station on Old Seneca Turnpike has become a haven for feral cats, but not for much longer.
"Some years ago we had quite a few feral cats at the transfer station," said David Newell, recycling liaison.
According to Newell, to help relieve the station of the feral feline, two women, one from Marcellus and the other from Skaneateles, volunteered to take care of the cats and have them spayed, neutered and given shots.
At one point, there were only about 10 cats at the station, Newell said, but they are once again seen as problematic due to spraying and feces. Though Newell was going to have Animal Control come in to rid the station of the cats, there was some opposition from the voluntary caretakers.
"The ladies asked if they could trap them and take them to a sanctuary," Newell said.
Now, the women have asked for monetary compensation for mileage from taking the animals to the sanctuary, which is about a 15 mile round trip, said Supervisor Phil Tierney. The sanctuary is a no-kill facility.
"Alternately, if we took them to Animal Control, they would be euthanized," Tierney said. "We've got a problem here where these cats could be a liability."
According to Tierney, the situation has gotten out of control and it is no longer a pleasant environment for the transfer station employees to work in.
Tierney said the expense is a one-time ordeal that the town will incur to the benefit of the cats.
Mileage reimbursement would cost approximately $200, while the sanctuary is also asking for a donation to cover the cost of having each of the animals seen by a veterinarian. The sanctuary is requesting $500.
While Tierney said he has sufficient money in the supervisor's budget to cover the $700 cost, budget officer Bridgett Winkelman said the money should come from the transfer station budget.