East Cocalico says no to Humane League

By on August 24, 2011

By: ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

East Cocalico Township supervisors voted to use the Pennsylvania dog officer for Lancaster County to handle stray dogs instead of paying a fee of $8,888.45 for 2012 to the Lancaster County Humane League.

The per capita assessment figure is based on 85 cents per person and is a 70 percent increase over last year.

"They’re (Humane League) using our money to subsidize cats," said supervisor chairman Doug Mackley at the Aug. 17 supervisors meeting.

The Humane League receives no funding stream to handle the high volume of cats which they take in.

Previously supervisors asked Police Chief George Beever, to investigate the use of the Pennsylvania Dog Law enforcement officer. Beever noted that if too many municipalities opt to use the state dog officer assigned to the county, the response time could lengthen and the amount of days the police would need to house an animal could increase.

Kristen Reed Penn, supervisor in the state dog law enforcement office in Harrisburg, said that they have no kennels.

"We take the dogs where they will accept them. For animals in Lancaster County, a lot of them will go to the Animal Rescue League in Berks County," Penn said.

"For the last one and a half to two years it’s been a slow, downward spiral," Penn said. "It is our duty to take a dog running at large, just like it’s a police officer’s duty. At some point the state dog officer could reach a point of saturation. In my area (Harrisburg), we’ve had to take dogs as far away as Chambersburg."

With state funding cuts, Penn was asked what happens if the calendar year is not over and the state dog law enforcement office’s budget is all used.

"I don’t know," Penn said.

Ultimately people are paying for the dog enforcement service with tax monies, whether it is at the state level or the local level.

In other business:

? Citizen Steve Brubaker asked what can be done to have the junk cleaned up at the blighted property at 17-19 S. Line Road. The township posted the property and mowed weeds previously; they are tall again. Zoning supervisor Tony Luongo said an out-of-area mortgage company owns the property. Luongo has dealt with the problem property for three years. Supervisors concurred that a citation through the district magistrate’s office may prompt the mortgage company to hire someone to do something about the property.

? The zoning officer reported issuing 19 permits. Three code enforcement letters were sent to property owners who did driveway paving without a permit and one for a residential addition without a permit. One business owner relocated a new, accessory structure and another business applied for a permit to pave a driveway apron. One resident received a letter regarding a lawn needing mowed, and another is working on improving site distance at an intersection adjacent to his property.

? Supervisor Noelle Fortna noted that the Sept. 21 supervisors meeting will be at 9 a.m. instead of 7:30 p.m. The time change will be advertised.

? Supervisor Alan Fry said he and Luongo went to a well-attended pool and spa seminar which discussed new regulations concerning construction and upgrades needed by community pools to meet compliance standards.

? Supervisors, following an executive session, responded to the police bargaining unit’s question about how a retired officer who is called back to service for issues relating to their previous duty (i.e., court appearances) is to be compensated. Supervisors, based on advice from the solicitor, replied that in such a situation the officer is not entitled to any additional compensation from the township.

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