The feral cat situation around Hokendauqua and Northampton Avenues was discussed again at Northampton Borough Council’s November 5 meeting; these concerns were first discussed at the October 1 meeting.
Sal Zangari, part-time code enforcement officer, researched different solutions and believes that a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) Program would be the best and most humane for the Borough.
A TNR approach would humanely trap the cats and have them taken to a clinic where they would be neutered/ spayed, vaccinated for rabies, and eartipped; eartipping is a relatively painless procedure that identifies an altered feral cat. After these procedures, the cats would be released back into the neighborhood, and since the cats would be unable to reproduce, the number of cats in the area would eventually decrease.
Zangari introduced Veronica Kunkel, founder of Rock Star Animal Rescue, to explain more about TNR. Kunkel urged council to adopt a community TNR program, purchase more humane traps, and add a section to their website with information for interested residents.
Council approved the creation of the community TNR program. However, residents expressed that a TNR approach does not address the issue of the cats’ urinating and defecating in the neighborhood or that they could freeze to death in the winter. This also does not address the neighborhood’s black vulture problem.
Kunkel said a solution for the defecation problem is in the works and that there is currently a list of deterrents available for anyone interested. As for the black vultures, Kunkel said she would get in contact with a friend at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary to determine a solution.
In other business, council discussed the planning commission’s recommendations for the housing development that will be built behind the CVS on West 21st Street. Station Alley would become a one-way street with a turning restriction. West Alley would also become a one-way street with these changes.
Council had three choices before them: a good faith approach, a conditional approach, or tabling the motion. The planning commission recommended the conditional approach, while the developer urged council to go with the good faith approach. The Borough Council ended up passing a motion with the good faith approach; this means that there is no hearing or public notice required.
The Northampton Borough Council will meet again on Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.