Mountain House Feral Cat Rescue officials estimate between 1,000 and 2,000 feral cats roam the town. Vice President Bryan Harrison said the money allocated Wednesday, Sept. 12, from either the community service district’s general fund or parks and recreation fund would pay for veterinarian costs to pay or neuter the wild cats, which would prevent them from breeding and the population from growing.
“We’re very excited about having the district support us in such a way,” Harrison said. “They obviously support our commitment to what we’re doing.”
Harrison said the money would pay for about 100 cats. He said the rescue group, formed in May, will be aggressive with a trap and release program during the fall and winter to try and lower the spring kitten population.
Director Andy Su said during the meeting the money could help prevent a larger problem with wild cats down the road.
“The purpose is to support this group,” Su said. “It is an issue and, if we start, the less of an issue it’s going to be in one, two, three years.”
By law, the district is not allowed to use public funds for private efforts, so the board determined effort fell under one of the community service district’s 18 separate governmental powers — pest and weed abatement.
Attorney Daniel Schroeder, who represents the district, did not challenge the board’s assertion that the expenditure falls under its purview.
According to Director Jim Lamb, the money would come out of one of two money sources — the general fund, or the special tax that helps pay for parks and recreation. He argued the latter of the two funds would apply because the cats would be trapped in public areas that include parks, such as the community creek.
The board instructed staff to create a memorandum of understanding between the district and the rescue group, so the funds would not be directly given to volunteers.
Lamb said in a telephone interview Friday, Sept. 14, that the money is “not guaranteed.”
“We’re authorizing to spend up to $5,000 in this fiscal budget,” Lamb said. “The details of the MOU will determine how it will be reimbursed.”
Harrison said his group is working with community services district Development Manager Morgan Groover to coordinate a newsletter and kitten adoption fair planned in the near future at the Mountain House Fire Station, 911 Tradition St.
“The vote of confidence from the board that they would get involved like that says a lot to us,” Harrison said.
For information: 597-8150.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a glance
• WHAT: Mountain House Community Services District board of directors meeting
• WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12
• WHERE: Michael Forbes McGrew Board Room, 230 S. Sterling Drive
• DETAILS: President Bernice King Tingle and directors Celeste Farron, Jim Lamb, Jass Singh and Andy Su were present.