By Carol Vaughn —
Margie Spangler of Northern Accomack Community Cats told the Parksley Town Council Monday the nonprofit organization offers low-cost spay and neuter for outdoor cats in Accomack County as well as running trap-neuter-release clinics.
The cost is $25 to spay or neuter a cat and give it a rabies vaccine.
“We teach our people how to trap the cats,” she said, adding that if someone is unable to trap a cat themselves, “We have people that will come and trap the cats for you.”
“We’re about public education. We need to teach people,” Spangler said.
The organization wants to let Parksley residents know, “there is an issue down here,” she said.
NACC since April has spayed or neutered 42 cats in town, with 36 more on a waiting list, according to Spangler.
Since the beginning of April, NACC has spayed or neutered 376 cats.
“We are not a rescue. We do not rescue cats. We leave that up to the rescue people,” Spangler said.
NACC also does not relocate cats. Spangler said relocating a cat “is a death wish for them,” noting outside cats in a colony do not allow others to come into their colony.
Spangler said relocating cats is against the law. “It is called abandonment,” she said.
Instead, trapping, neutering or spaying, and releasing outside cats is a better way to control the population, according to Spangler.
“We need to stop this overpopulation of outside cats,” she said.
NACC is asking the towns of Parksley, Onancock, and Onley to help by letting residents know about the organization.
Spangler suggested businesses in town have a cat food drive and put out donation jars to help people who may not be able to afford both cat food and the $25 spay/neuter fee.
“People that owe parking tickets, instead of having them pay you in cash, have them pay you by donating cat food,” she said.
Spangler also asked the town to add information about NACC to the town website and to consider putting money in the town budget for the organization.
“The kitten situation is out of control — and right now is the breeding season,” Spangler said.
Town Office Renovations
Renovations to the town office are progressing, after it took three months to obtain the building permit, according to Mayor Frank Russell.
“We set aside…$100,000 to do this. It’s not going to cost anything like that. It’s going to cost, I’m going to guess, $20,000 or $25,000 to do it because we are doing it,” Russell said.
Henry Nicholson has been paying his own crew to do the work.
“So if you see him, thank him for that,” Russell said.
The new floor joists and underlayment have been put in, along with some of the walls and the beginnings of a counter.
Flooring has been ordered.
The priority has been completing work on the office area of the building, with work to be done after that on the area housing the Railway Museum.
“It’s looking great,” Russell said.
Sewage System Update
The town had to purchase a pump and aerator for the sewage system.
Councilman Ricky Taylor said the company the town employed to operate the sewage system “has been excellent.”
“It’s well worth our money that we’re paying them to run this thing, because, that system, for the longest time all I ever heard was, it will never work. We can never get it working right. It’s an obsolete system; we can’t do it. Well, they’ve done it,” Taylor said, adding, “They have made us look good to the health department, who was ready to shut us completely down because we were not doing what we needed to do.”
“Right now, our numbers are better than what they (the health department) require. So that’s the first time in 10 or 12 years,” Russell said.
Revitalization Project Update
Department of Housing and Community representatives on Monday, Feb. 28, will do a walk-through of the grant-funded downtown revitalization project to view progress to date, including the center, the square, and the alleyway in the downtown area, according to Councilman Dan Matthews.
A six-month extension was accepted for the project.
A contractor retracted a previously submitted bid to do facade improvements associated with the downtown revitalization project, according to Matthews.
The contractor was the same company contracted to build the public library in Parksley.
Accomack County recently issued a notice of intent to terminate for default that contract.
The Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission is polling business owners about three options for facade improvements.
Parksley Marketing and Tourism Board Created
Councilman Ricky Taylor made a motion to create the Town of Parksley Marketing/Tourism Board, with its members to be residents appointed by the Town Council.
The purpose of the citizen-driven advisory board will be to promote the town and its businesses, Taylor said.
The five members will be approved by the Town Council and will include one Town Council member, residents, business owners, and “any other person or persons who have the best interest of the town in mind,” according to Taylor’s motion.
The board is to report to the Town Council.
The council unanimously approved the creation of the marketing and tourism board.