Village board determines town trapper can handle village infestation

— Last summer three village residents complained about skunks to the board of trustees. The town of Salina trapper was “overwhelmed,” said one resident, and was not responding to calls from villagers plagued by the malodorous black-and-white weasels.

Not so, now say the trustees.

In April, trustees approved a 2013-14 village budget of $2,306,565, but it failed to fund the hiring of a village trapper as the board had informally agreed to do on Aug. 20, 2012.

“That was an honest oversight,” said Mayor Gary White at the board’s monthly meeting on May 20. “When we were preparing the budget, skunks were not in season,” he explained.

After the oversight was noted on the Star-Review’s April 24 editorial page, White assigned Trustee Bob Gaetano to look into the situation. Gaetano, who has himself been plagued by skunks at his Birch Street residence, contacted Salina animal-nuisance wildlife trapper Bill Berry.

“Bill’s available 24 hours a day,” Gaetano said. “He returned my calls promptly, and he told me that the village is a priority.” He charges $20 to install an initial trap and $10 per trap after that. For information, call the town clerk at 457-2710.

“So we found out that we already have a pretty good program in place,” White said.

Last August, Jim Spadafore, a longtime resident of Second Street near the intersection of Outlook, said that the Salina trapper was “overwhelmed” by the magnitude of the skunk infestation town-wide.

Gaetano said that Spadafore’s comment “surprised” Berry.

Spadafore had written a letter to the mayor and attended the Aug. 20 board meeting to lodge his complaint. “The quality of life for my family is being compromised,” wrote Spadafore, a recently retired educator. “I think it’s time for the village of Liverpool to hire their own trapper before a wild animal with rabies attacks a child or a pet.”

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