The Dominion Post  

Westover approves grant donation for spay/neuter program

Created on:   Tue, Feb 6, 2018   6:11 PM

Last modified:   Wed, Feb 7, 2018   7:30 AM

For The Dominion Post

WESTOVER — The city of Westover will donate to the Mountaineer Spay/Neuter Assist Program (M-SNAP) to help pet owners who wish to spay or neuter their pets but are not financially able to do so.

At the Westover City Council meeting, held Monday at the Westover City Building, council members approved a grant donation of $1,000 to help with vouchers for the program.

First Ward City Council member Ralph Mullins was not present.

According to the M-SNAP website, M-SNAP is an all-volunteer nonprofit that works with 10 local veterinary clinics to provide financial help to qualifying Monongalia County residents so they can have pets spayed or neutered.

Westover Mayor David Johnson said the program was a worthy one and deserved support.

“It helps the people of Westover,” he said. “It helps people anywhere, but our concentration is on the people of Westover.

“It helps people who have a pet to get a voucher, because veterinary costs are not exuberant by any means, but it’s a cost that a lot of people can’t afford. So, it’s a worthy program. It’s good because it helps people.”

Johnson said if people want to get a pet or let their kids have a pet, but can’t afford to spay or neuter it, then the program is a huge help.

He said there is not really a stray pet problem in Westover because the city handles it well.

“We’ve got a good handle on it,” he said. “We’ve been doing most of it ourselves.”

In other business:

Police Chief Richard Panico said the past couple weeks at court had brought in $6,108, a third of which came from the possession of drugs. He said the department is putting a lot of emphasis on dealing with the drug problem.

He said he gave orders for officers to use vehicle computers to run database checks on traffic violators to try to catch multiple offenders.

Panico said four officers will attend a 40-hour mini training academy put on by the Granville department, which will save Westover police about $3,200.

He said there had been eight shoplifting cases in the past two weeks, either at the mall or Sportsman’s Warehouse, all first-time offenders.

“We’re closing a lot of these cases where guys are actually coming in, paying restitution and we are giving them a fine,” he said.

Council member-at-large Al Yocum questioned Panico about the amount of police forfeiture money available for use by the city. Panico explained the entire amount of police forfeiture money was already accounted for in the budget, but only funds that had been petitioned for and cleared by the court were able to be used.

City clerk Sandra Weis said she believed the amount of cleared money was about $22,000 and the total amount seized was about $37,000.

City Code Enforcement official Jason Stinespring said he had received papers for a Great American Cookie store to be opened in the Morgantown Mall food court, and paperwork is progressing for a Joe Romeo Dealership on the Gateway.

Johnson said the new salt barn was 90 percent finished, and the crew was waiting for the weather to cooperate to finish the cement floor.

He said the deadline for filing election papers had passed, and all council members were running unopposed except for him. Former Westover council member Bill Wilson Jr. has filed to run for mayor.

Council member-at-large Edie Viola asked Johnson if the city would get rid of cinders due to the new salt barn. Johnson said the city may cut back on cinders, but it would not get rid of them because cinders have more traction in certain weather conditions.

Viola mentioned seeing gravel in some of the cinders during the last major snow. Johnson said the state used tiny gravel pieces instead of salt, so someone probably dug too far down and got too big of pieces.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Westover City Building, due to President’s Day.