Cats remain free in Butler

By Lucas Lord

The feral cats of Butler will continue to rule the streets a while longer. Despite holding a public safety committee meeting to tackle mounting concerns of feral cat colonies, the Board of Aldermen did not pass an ordinance to deal with the problem during its May 3 meeting.

“We didn’t realize that we do have some ordinances out there that need to be updated first,” said Aldermen Doncella Liggins.

“Right now, no decision has been made until we can get our ordinances cleaned up. However, if there are any complaints, we are asking the resident to call or contact the police department and file a written complaint so they can follow up.”

A member of the public safety committee, Liggins assured the council that she was working with the committee to draft a suitable ordinance that would address the growing number of feral cats around Butler. Liggins said she hoped to have something to present to the board during their next meeting.

In other news, the board approved Brick Street Bash for June 4.

“We are coming to you to ask if we can have Brick Street Bash the first weekend in June,” said Jamie Morgan, president of Electric City Downtown. “We are asking that the city block off the whole square so we can hold a cornhole tournament. We are also asking to sell alcohol there for those 21 and over. We would have someone sitting there at the entrance checking IDs. We’ll have a kid’s area in front of city hall down to main street where the vendors will be lined up. We have about four food trucks that are supposed to be coming.”

The board of aldermen also heard from Ryan Peters, regional planner for Kessinger Basin, about surveys being sent out to citizens for feedback on the comprehensive plan.

“It will probably be at the next meeting that I will be able to post dates for all those surveys,” said Peters. “Based on feedback from current surveys, we are looking at holding a meeting sometime May 25, 26, 27 or 28. The surveys go to both people in Butler and around it. We do recognize that it’s not just people in Butler that are impacted by this. The idea of this is not just to help the city of Butler, but the people.”

The board of aldermen agreed to accept a donation from the Bates County Health Center for an additional piece of playground equipment at the inclusive playground, a drum-like instrument.

Alderman Mike Irick said the park was the highlight of his career.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of positive feedback on us making that decision,” said Irick. “I’ve gotten teary eyed a couple of times in front of parents. To know that we have parents of children with special needs who are utilizing that equipment, well, it’s the highlight of my time serving on city council, period. It’s a good thing, a really wonderful decision that’s helping people in our community.

“I just want to say great job to everybody in the city that has helped put that together.”

Alderman Scott Mallett echoed Irick’ s sentiment.

“Like Mike said, the inclusive park down here is a wonderful thing and I want to make sure that everyone who had a part in that gets credit where credit is due,” said Mallett.

“I haven’t heard anything negative about that at all. At the same time, the greenspace seems good. I don’t know if we have a name for that yet, but that’s something we might want to think about a little bit. It seems that the way the economy is, things are just stagnating, but I think there is an overall sense or air that things are moving forward around town. We are planting the seeds of it, and we’ll see the fruit of it before long.”

he board of aldermen also discussed the purchase of nine pieces of equipment that bids were received for.

In all, the equipment cost a total of $282,878.90, with the largest single item being purchased was a 2023 International dump truck for the street department. The purchase price was $169,878.