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Cat owners face fines for letting pets wander

SHADYSIDE — Questions about animal control led the discussion among Shadyside Village Council members Monday.

Shadyside Police Chief Don Collette warns cat owners to keep account of their pets or face a penalty.

“We’re starting to trap cats, and if we trap a cat and it has a licensed tag on it, you’re going to be cited into court,” Collette said.

He said the city has been trapping cats for about two years and the situation is worsening.

“I’ve got nine in the last couple months, so people are letting cats run random. We’re going to start citing them into court if they have a tag on them, if it’s a cat and it’s out.”

Collette said the trapped cats are delivered to the Belmont County Animal Shelter.

“I don’t know what they do once they take them,” he said.

Shadyside Mayor Bob Newhart looked up the village statutes and said the offense would be a minor misdemeanor with a fine of up to $150.

“They’ve caught a couple (out of the latest nine) with tags,” Newhart said, adding that the roaming cats have been a nuisance. “The noise, the marking, the litterbox in your flowers.”

There were other animal-related issues up for discussion as well. Newhart said some residents have also made inquiries about whether pigs can be kept as pets in the village. He will look into the matter.

In other matters Ranae Teasdale, assistant water and sewer superintendent, said the work of replacing water valves is underway.

The project could take a little more than 100 days.

“We’re just trying to find a different way to alert the residents on whether their water will be off or not,” she said, adding the village currently sends out word through news releases and social media. She suggested an all-call as an option. She said no shutoffs are planned for the near future. “There’s nothing shut off right now, we’re just going to put some … valves in and we’re good to go.”

If anyone has questions or concerns, the water department number is 740-676-4313.

Shadyside Councilman Robert Gorrell also noted the village was awaiting the return of a proposal from Pultney Township for a joint paving project between the village, the township and Belmont County.

“We’ll sign the papers and get that project going,” Gorrell said. “We’ll get ready to send it out to Belmont County for their board to see if they’re going to forward us to (the) Marietta (office of the Ohio Public Works Commission). It looks pretty promising. It’s a three-part project. … We have to have it up there the first of September.”

He said it was likely council would vote on the matter during the next meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 22.

“If not, we’ll have to call a special meeting,” Gorrell said.

He said the paving project would take place on the north end of the village.

Shadyside’s local share would be around $81,000, with Pultney Township’s share close to $34,000 and the county’s share at $27,000. Total project cost would be in the range of $550,000.

Village leaders will also determine if there is a limit to how tall trees are permitted to be.

“When is a tree too tall?” Newhart asked rhetorically after the meeting.

He added there is one oak tree near 41st-42nd streets and Highland Avenue that is nearly 80 feet tall. Newhart was unsure how old the tree is. “Probably one of the oldest in town.”

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