Montgomery Borough tackles feral cat problem

Martin, an office cat at Beckoning Cat Project gives a big yawn while relaxing on an office chair at the office in Williamsport. KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY Sun-Gazette

MONTGOMERY — Concerns over free-roaming cats here prompted borough council to establish an account to help pay for the spaying and neutering of feral cats.

But the money won’t come from borough funds. Rather, it would be raised by the Tri-Town Trap Neuter Release group, which would deposit funds into the account, according to Gretchen Clapper, head of the Tri-Town group.

The group would work with the Beckoning Cat Project in Williamsport, which operates a program for local municipalities. Through that program, the borough would contribute $25 and the Beckoning Cat, another $42 to either spay or neuter the cat.

The cat would then be released back into the neighborhood. By returning the cat to its territory, other feral cats would refrain from coming into the colony and creating more cats.

While Tri-Town would deposit funds into the account, the borough would write a check to cover the costs of treating any cats caught in the borough.

Clapper said the Tri-Town was able to trap eight cats already.

“Our goal is to get the girls first,” Clapper said. “But we will take what cats we can get.” She said that by trapping the males, it will prevent them from spraying.

The group recently held a garage sale and has $500 to deposit into the account.

In other business, Councilwoman Susan Andrews asked for $150 for two 275-liter tanks for a community garden project, which would provide garden plots for residents to rent.

Andrews said the council would make the money back from the rental fees.

“We have already gotten some interest for it,” said Andrews. She mentioned that local scouts were looking to volunteer, and a local teacher was interested in using it for an agriculture class.

Council agreed to authorize the purchase.

In another matter, Mayor Robert Hoover said the borough would be hosting a National Night Out event from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7 at the borough park. Members of the borough fire and police departments and other first responders will be on hand, and parishioners from the New Covenant Church would provide face painting for children.

Besides Andrews, council members in attendance included Lynn Crist, president; L. Whitlow Wertz and Fae Herb. Councilman James McCarty was absent. Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14.