Council stuggles with several issues

CHESTER – Feral cats, illegal dumping and out-of-state license plates.

It’s all in a day’s work for Chester City Council.

Monday’s council meeting had councilmen struggling for solutions to all three issues – each one a perennial headache for the city.

Councilman Steve Shuman said he’s noticed more and more feral cats roaming the city but doesn’t know what to do about them. Shuman estimated there are 25 such cats, with no one to take care of them, in one neighborhood alone.

“There is a problem with them,” Mayor Ken Morris said. “I mean, we’ve got them everywhere.”

Council will check to see what other cities in West Virginia do about their cat populations.

City Solicitor April Raines said illegal dumping in large metal trash bins is getting out of control in the city. She said she has seen as many as five mattresses and what looked like “bags of kids’ clothes” dumped into the bin behind Gene’s Treasure Chest at the corner of Carolina Avenue and Fifth Street.

“I would like to see it stopped,” Raines said.

“It’s a mess. It’s a nuisance. It’s going on all over town,” Morris said.

Raines said a Chester city ordinance, which mirrors state law, prohibits illegal dumping into other people’s trash bins.

Councilman John Woodruff asked Police Chief Ken Thorn what’s being done about Chester residents who keep their out-of-state license plates from Ohio or Pennsylvania – even Texas.

“Let us know,” Thorn said. “Write down the plate number, and we’ll assign someone to watch the car.”

Woodruff estimated there are between 80 and 100 such vehicles in the city – all trying to avoid the state personal property tax and the state vehicle inspection regimen.

West Virginia law requires new residents to get new plates within 30 days of moving to the state.

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