Stryker Village Council Council Still Examining Cat Issue, Fire Hall Funds Discussed

Even in a less crowded council meeting, the cat issue within the village is still an issue. The judiciary committee had met prior to the meeting in June to discuss the issue and how to control the cat population as well as dealing with the trapping, complaints and transportation of the cats either to the owners’ home or the Humane Society.

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The judiciary committee will be seeking the legal route with the village solicitor to appropriate a resolution to deal with the feral cats within the village. It is hopeful that with a resolution in place, the issue will be at bay.

In that meeting, the committee outlined several points for the resolution to state that live traps can be offered to residents to trap a stray cat after complaint is lodged with the police department. Upon trapping the cat, if the cat has an identification tag, there will be an attempt to contact the owner and then taken to the Humane Society. If there is no identification tag, the cat will be taken directly to the Humane Society. The committee is also asking for a fund to be appropriated to cover any fees that the village could incur and for the village to have available identification tags for the cats.

It was noted by Carol Feehan that the Humane Society offers a spay/neuter program for a nominal fee on the fourth Thursday of every month.

Village Administrator St. John stated that he has had contact with Lisa Stalter of the Humane Society regarding the identification tags and the village having them available for purchase. St. John stated that Lisa does not recommend the tags as she has seen other communities spend the money to have them available, and yet not very many residents utilize them for their intended purpose.
According to law, once a cat is caught and taken to the Humane Society, it becomes the property of the village if it does not have identification. After the three days, the cat is spayed or neutered, respectively, and then offered for adoption or taken to local farmers that take in stray cats to keep as barn cats.

According to the ORC per Chief Schlosser, once someone feeds a animal, they take ownership.

Is the trapping and controlling pet population the responsibility of the village? Or is it the responsibility of the local Humane Society to control trappings and population? Or should the residents take the responsibility of their pets, whether they are obtained by choice or kindness of their hearts?
Mayor Hughes cheerfully announced to the council that the general fund and budget has been reviewed by himself, Bethany Clemens, and Village Administrator Gary St. John to note that the village is currently in good financial standing. The overall report states that the village is approximately 59% for the remainder of the year.

“All the department heads have done a tremendous job in watching their budget and spending just what needs to be spent and not getting a lot of luxury type items, and that makes a big difference,” states Hughes. “Although I realize when the budget was presented there were people that weren’t very happy with it. Sometimes it’s just what we have to do. Everyone has just pitched in and done what they need to do to get us through.”

The trustees of the Stryker Fire Department have been in loan negotiations with their attorneys to secure funds to purchase and house the fire department in the old T&M Supply building on Depot Street. St. John approached council with numbers from the trustees of $211,000 that they are asking the village to give out of the general fund.

The funds are being negotiated, but they are asking for a 20 year commitment with a monthly payment of just under $900 per month.

It was stated that the trustees feel the village should have a moral obligation to contribute the money that was once discussed by council “back in the day” when that council had met in executive session to discuss land purchase/acquisition.

As discussion start, a few members express their thoughts with the length of time, amount of money, and how the projected budget looks to handle the village in years to come.

Council will remain in discussion to determine the amount of money that will be donated to the trustees and the new fire hall.

In other village news:

  • Chief Schlosser informed council that the K-9 unit certification is “all set” and only waiting for the OPATA certificate to be able to put the new officer in service
  • Chief Schlosser informed council there was an attempted burglary, but was thwarted by a village resident. With no official neighborhood watch program in place, the Chief stated that he depends on the citizens to report activity to take action in some cases
  • The new pump for the lift station is ready to be replaced by Woolace Electric
  • Resolution passed to accept the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor
  • Ordinance passed to amend section 5.13 of the Village Personnel policy and procedure manual to include an employee retirement incentive plan
  • Mayor Hughes announced to council that the charges pending against him (2012) have been dropped by the court system

Council will meet again in regular session on August 12th at 6 p.m. in the village hall.


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