LIMA — It was a double-feature night at Lima City Council’s Neighborhood Concerns meeting Monday night.
The committee took up the issue of what can the city do to improve animal welfare and they also dealt with a contentious annexation.
The animal welfare discussion was referred to the committee by 7th Ward Lima Councilman Jon Neeper as a result of Lima resident Ada Mason’s concerns that were voiced at a recent meeting.
“I’m not going away. I’m not going to be quiet. The care of animals has been overlooked for far too long,” Mason said Monday night.
The wide-ranging discussion explored the proliferation of cats in Lima neighborhoods and whether another trap, neuter and release effort would work to bring the population down.
Also discussed was bringing in possible laws about tethering, where dogs are left outside in cold and hot weather.
A big problem is what to do when there’s an animal abuse complaint that happens after 5 p.m. since the county dog warden oftentimes isn’t working that late.
One suggestion would be to start a capital campaign and hit up big companies in an effort to try and bring in enough money to support more manpower in the county dog warden’s office or other programs that would reduce the cat population.
“The city does not have the means to support or fund an agency or entity that would be acting in the capacity of a dog warden or animal warden or the humane society for them,” said Jame Dixon, 5th ward Lima councilman.
The discussion was tabled until the committee could research what other communities are doing, legislatively, concerning animal welfare issues.
The other discussion centered around David Smith’s request to annex land into Lima. Part of his property on Reservoir Road lies in Bath Township while the other part is in Lima. Smith and another property owner have been in talks with MVAH Housing Inc. about a potential apartment complex that would be developed on those properties, but an annexation needs to take place first before the property would be purchased and then developed.
Council members were concerned that Smith hadn’t completed a laundry list of things that he could get cited for had his property already existed in Lima.
For Smith, the ordeal has been one that’s gone slowly.
“I believe that there are too many cooks in the broth and not enough responsibility for a single individual because this should be a clear path on how you do this, not somebody saying it’s a confusing process and then not eliminating the confusion. I think that city council has a much better grasp of the situation now,” said Smith.
Council did decide to authorize law director Tony Geiger to prepare legislation outlining what services the city would provide to Smith’s property if it’s approved for annexation. That resolution should be considered at its meeting on August 19.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.