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April 2, 2020

2/14/2020 2:58:00 PM
Hutsonville board looks at drug laws and feral cat problem
Daily News

The Village of Hutsonville is looking at updating their cannabis and synthetic drug laws and discussed a feral cat problem.

With the decriminalization of cannabis by the State of Illinois the village needs to update their ordinances accordingly. Robinson Police Chief Chad Weaver explained to the board how legalization of recreational cannabis works and how some changes to local ordinances are needed. "I hate to equate it to alcohol, but in this case it fits," said Weaver. "You can't have an open or unsealed container."

While the new state law allows for possession of up to 30 gram of cannabis from a licensed distributor, it must remained sealed at your home or remain in the primary place of consumption. Unlicensed or black market cannabis is still illegal, as is transporting in a licensed unsealed container.

The new ordinance, which is similar to one already passed in Robinson, will address these changes and those for synthetic drugs as they apply.

Several residents have complained about a feral cat problem in the village. Unfortunately it is a civil problem and not a criminal one, explained Mayor Tina Callaway.

Feral cats fall into a unique category, while they are considered a domestic companion animal, feral cats are also considered a nuisance wild animal, meaning they can be trapped or killed.

The problem is differentiating between someone's pet and a feral cat. There are no leash laws for cats and while they may have collars and identity tags or microchips they are not required.

The real problem Hutsonville is facing, and that residents are complaining about is that some residents feed and provide shelter for these feral cats. The feral cats live in building, garages, under houses and make messes. They also continue to breed creating more feral cats.

Mayor Callaway said she has reached out to the Crawford County Animal Control, but has had no response.

She has also contacted Debbie Dix at the Humane Society and was told that they would take the cats for a donation, but they are already over flowing with them. The Spay and Neuter Foundation can trap and have the animals fixed, but they must release them back where they were trapped.

Until a better solution can be found, Callaway said the only real option is for residents to trap the animals on their own and take them to the Humane Society and make a donation.

In other business Callaway informed the board that a lean of around $1,100 has been placed on the property at 300 S. Pleasant for demolition of the condemned shed and other work performed by the village.

Board members are encouraged to attend the Crawford County Board meeting Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in support of the sewer project grant presentation. Connor and Connor Engineering will be presenting the grant proposal the board for consideration.

The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, March 10.

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