Irresponsible pet owners an irritation for Hughesville residents

HUGHESVILLE – Some Hughesville pet owners’ lack of responsibility was on one citizen’s mind at Monday night’s borough council meeting.

“I’m kind of getting fed up with cleaning up feces,” Craig Koons said. “When I step in it it’s a little discouraging – maybe if you want to walk your dog, tax it.”

Koons also brought up the issue of loose cats roaming the borough’s streets.

“Municipalities statewide have a cat issue,” said solicitor Ryan Tira. “With dogs other places have been successful with leash laws.”

“I put up a game camera and got 700 hits,” Koons continued. “With this 25-foot leash law you can’t see the owner and the dog – I’ve caught people letting their dogs urinate on my porch I don’t have any animals and so I shouldn’t have to pick up manure. Maybe I’ll bring in a manure spreader from Lairdsville and cut it loose in my backyard and see how everyone likes it.”

“We can take care of it, but you got to call quick,” said Police Chief Jason Gill. “Whoever calls will have to testify in court.”

In other business, council approved amending its emergency management plan to update contact information, and amending the skateboarding ordinance to prohibit boarding or rollerblading at night on any borough street or sidewalk.

Gill asked council to up the fine for not clearing sidewalks within 24 hours to something stiffer than $5.

“It’s the first time I remember writing citations for not shoveling,” Gill said.

Council discussed the problem of property owners clearing snow to their sidewalk’s edge while leaving street corner crossings blocked.

“If people expect the borough to go out and shovel their corners out, we can do that,” said council President Jeff Berger. “They’re going to get their taxes raised.”

Hughesville came in about $70,000 under budget for 2012.

Council appointed Roger Martin to the Hughesville-Wolf Sewer Authority, and approved a water rate hike to an $18 base rate and $4.50 per 1,000 gallons.

Council’s next meeting is 7:30 p.m., Jan. 28 at the borough hall, 147 S. Fifth St.