ONEIDA — Oneida officials received harsh words over the lack of support for the wildcat program from a former councilor and a number of landlords working on homes in the town asked for extensions at the regular meeting of the City Council on Tuesday.
At the previous Common Council meeting, the Oneida City Council rejected a request from the Oneida Community Cat Committee for additional funding totaling $2,000 five to one – citing too big a problem and too small efforts to have a significant impact.
Ward 6 Councilor Tom Simchik was the only one to vote in favour.
At Tuesday’s meeting, former Oneida Councilor Brahim Zogby said he was concerned about the council’s current stance on the Oneida Community Cat Committee.
“This is a group of volunteers who worked diligently on behalf of the city to solve a problem,” Zogby said.
“By refusing the money, there was no thanks for what has already been done. No one on the council has ever trapped an animal, put that trap in your car, go to a vet, get it fixed, and then turn it over,” Zogby said.
“The question [last meeting] has been [did the committee] get grants? ” He continued. “And my question is, you, the council?” »
Ward 1 Councilor Jim Szczerba said in his research that the only way trap release programs are effective is when around 75% of the cat population is trapped at the same time – and the big problem is that cats can breed every six months. .
“Taking a handful of cats at a time or taking just one cat to the vet is like bailing out a sinking boat with a cup of tea,” he added.
Szczerba and Zogby agreed that one solution would be to hire a professional to catch a large amount of cats at once – but then comes a new problem.
Wards 4, 5, 6 Supervisor Joseph Magliocca is a member of the Oneida Improvement Committee and the Oneida Community Cat Committee and asked for the floor to speak.
“The feral cat problem has been discussed in this town for years,” Magliocca said.
“The city has, for lack of a better phrase, thrown money at different organizations with really no results…Would it be better to do a super majority trapping all at once? Absolutely. It would cost a lot of money. money, but what limits the pitfalls are profitable vet appointments,” he added.
Magliocca explained that currently it costs $89 for male cats and $129 for trapped cats. And this price is greatly reduced compared to a normal operation for a pet owner.
Magliocca said the cat committee is considering vets well outside of the Madison County area.
“But they are volunteers who use their time and personal vehicles to do this because of their love for animals,” Magliocca said.
“So either we turn away from the problem and ignore it, or we start solving it. It may not be the best solution, but it is the start of a solution,” Magliocca said.
“The cat committee can do three to four times more monthly traps than we currently do and funding is a key part of that. But donations alone will not be enough for this success. In my opinion, the city needs skin in the game,” he said.
Magliocca added that at the next meeting, the cat committee will determine how many colonies there are in Oneida and how many can be trapped per month and the costs that would entail.
Supply chain issues
The effects of COVID-19 are still being felt among those working in Oneida City homes as supply chain issues delay rehabilitation projects.
Owners who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting include:
- Jeremy Carnahan, property owner at 1260 Lake Road;
- David Reyss, property owner at 518 W. Elm St.;
- Brian Ellis, owner of properties at 522 and 528 Sconondoa St.; and
- Eric Decharo, owner of the property at 235 West St.
Everyone who spoke to the council had the same story: supply chain issues are preventing them from completing their rehabilitation projects in a timely manner.
According to the Associated Press, consumer inflation hit 7.5% over the past year, a 40-year high. This, coupled with high demand and tangled supply chains, has created a shortage of products.
“I’m on a six to eight month waiting list for a furnace,” Ellis said. “It’s going to stop me from doing the plumbing and everything else.”
“We had a really hard time getting supplies,” Decaro said. “We realize a house, but then we get held back and it’s a domino effect.”
For people like Ellis, a one-year extension was necessary. In the worst-case scenario, Ellis could wait nine to ten months before his property is installed and ready.
The Municipal Council granted each of the owners the request for an extension of their rehabilitation projects.