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Salina Town Board discusses local cat law

Preserving the town's cat law was the main topic of discussion at the Salina Town Board meeting held at 6:30 p.m. Monday Feb. 8.

Residents spoke for the necessity of keeping neighborhood felines under control.

"We still need this program, it's important," said *Patricia Onfield, an area homeowner who lives across the street from a family with many cats. She had to contact animal control officer Esther Davis several times and document the felines' activities to draw attention to the problem.

"It's aggravating," she said. "We need Esther."

Karen Ingeman, a local woman who came to speak on behalf of a group of neighbors, defended what might be seen as anti-pet sentiment. She didn't want her support of the cat ordinance to be seen as animal cruelty.

"I helped raise animals as a child," said Ingeman. "I'm not against people having pets."

She told the Salina Town Board that two years ago, a woman started feeding cats out of her garage, and in May of last year she noticed a litter of young cats in her yard. She said the problem then got out of hand.

"We had 15 cats out at one time," Ingeman said. "It just went on and on."

Jerry Sweeney, another concerned resident, echoed Ingeman's feelings about large neighborhood homes that house so many felines. He said "five or six" cat food bowls would be left out on the porch at a time. With the new ordinance, however, Sweeney thought the issue was under control.

"The whole situation has disappeared now," he said. "There's no problem anymore."

Later in the meeting, the town board discussed items brought to consideration during a report by James Trasher, the town engineer.

Public hearings regarding community development projects for the year and funding for sewer projects will be held at the next town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday Feb. 22. The board also adopted a resolution on a NYSERDA grant.

*This Salina resident didn't sign in at Monday night's Salina Town Board meeting and no one got a spelling of her last name before she walked out of the meeting early. She resides at 316 Orwood Pl. The photo attached to this article was taken by Farah Jadran Pike.

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