Group seeks help from borough

LEWISTOWN–In order to combat abuse and neglection of animals within Lewistown Borough, Kari Coble, president of One Dog at a Time, requested assistance from the borough council and local law enforcement during a council meeting on Monday night at the Lewistown Community Center.

One Dog at a Time is a volunteer organization that serves all 67 counties in Pennsylvania with the goal of aiding any animal that suffers from abuse or neglect from their owners. Coble said, “Our mission was to help our police departments in assisting them with humane cases.”

According to Coble, the biggest problem facing Lewistown Borough is issues with cats. The ODAAT team reportedly does not have a shelter to place stray cats and the rescue currently lacks some of the resources they need in order to aide the animals effectively. Coble stated that she is currently working to set up donation jars in local businesses in order to raise funds to support the organization.

Additionally, Coble requested more cooperation from the council and borough police when dealing with eviction processes and the placement of pets. Coble said that with better communication, ODAAT can respond more effectively when trying to locate or place an animal.

“I’m requesting some sort of assistance from the borough so that when this stuff happens, somebody yells at us or gives us a heads up,” Coble said. “I don’t have a problem helping, but when I don’t know, I don’t know.”

She also added that she is willing to volunteer as a humane officer within the borough in order to assist the police department with summary citations regarding humane issues.

The council also initially came to a tie vote regarding advertisement of the borough’s sign ordinance. Council members Venus Shade, Mark Sievers and Dave Campbell originally approved the advertisement, but members Frank Berrier, Bill Wilson and Council President Larry Searer dissented. Following a short recess, the council unanimously chose to reconsider the decision in order to avoid hosting a special meeting. The ordinance will now be revisited at the council’s regularly scheduled meeting next month.

Later in the meeting, the council adjourned to executive session in order to discuss personnel matters. Once the regular meeting resumed, the council filled positions on the the streets and refuse crews, and also approved hiring for a part-time parking enforcement officer.

Additionally, President Larry Searer chose to remove council members Dave Campbell and Mark Sievers from the finance committee, replacing them with Frank Berrier and himself. Dave Campbell was also removed from the personnel committee and was replaced by Frank Berrier.

Searer stated that the committee changes were made in order to “make things a little more convenient timewise.”

Campbell and Sievers, however, opposed Searer’s decision. Sievers mentioned that he served the finance committee because of he had a background in finance, but he felt Searer removed him without warning. Both council members stated that there was little communication and they received no notification prior to the meeting of the committee changes.

In other business, the council:

¯Approved the consent agenda.

¯Approved the adoption of the rooming house ordinance.

¯Approved an agreement with Industrial Appraisals for a five year update of property, land and equipment values for insurance purposes.

¯Approved the UGI gas rate for the next two years.

¯Approved the inclusion of Dave Knox’s name somewhere along the river walk as a tribute.

¯Approved budget revisions to the borough’s 2015/2016 CDBG for ADA ramps and street reconstruction.

¯Approved the reappointment of Lisa Knudson to the Civil Service Commission.

¯Approved the release of 2015/2016 CDBG Funds for advertising of the invitation for bids for S. Wayne St.

¯Approved the release of 2015/2016 CDBG Funds for the Monument Square streetscape project.

The Lewistown Borough Council meets at 5 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Lewistown Community Center.