Officially recognizing that the “trap/neuter/return” model as an effective and humane way to reduce the stray cat population, the city is on board to approve an ordinance to provide for community cats to be sterilized, vaccinated and returned to the street.
In 2014, 1,542 cats were brought into Madison County Animal Control and 1,154 cats and kittens (75 percent) were killed. This effort will cut down on the feral cat population and the number of cats euthanized by animal shelters.
“These programs are taking hold all over the country,” said Ledy VanKavage, a senior legislative attorney with the Best Friends Animal Society who specializes in animal law. She also said compared to stray dogs, cats are a much larger problem for the county.
Funding is provided by grants from the Illinois Public Health and Safety Pet Overpopulation Control Act.
Metro East Humane Society and SNIP Alliance will assist with the trapping, spay and neuter, vaccination, ear tipping and return of the animals, and the ordinance will allow for other organizations and volunteers to assist, as well.
City code violation increase
Violating a city code could now come with a stiffer fine.
The general penalty maximum for any person convicted of a violation of the city code will be raised from $750 to $1,000 under the proposed ordinance.
The city’s Corporation Counselor Jim Schrempf clarified this amendment raises the maximum penalty allowed, and fines vary depending on the offense.
“Alton operates under a general penalty clause, and fines ranged some years back from $50 to $500, we then raised it to $750, and now we are raising it to $1,000,” he said. “The possible fine to be imposed by a court at the court’s discretion is between $500 and $1,000.”
The city is looking to approve an ordinance to allow street improvements to be performed under the Illinois Highway Code.
The affected streets include East Broadway from 150 feet west of Henry Street to Monument Street and 429 feet east of Cpl. Belchik Memorial Expressway to Allen Street, Henry Street from East Broadway south 110 feet, and Ridge Street from East Broadway south 210 feet and would include pavement patching, pavement milling, hot-mix asphalt resurfacing and removal and replacement of curb and gutter.