Unleashed dogs causing concerns

BY STACI WILSON

Dogs allowed to run without a leash have become a growing problem for Susquehanna’s police department.

Councilman Joe Varsik reported that a 1978 ordinance pertaining to dogs was updated in 1999 to include other animals, leash laws and barking. But those regulations aren’t being followed, he said.

Varsik said police should issue dog owners a warning. “But if they are violating the ordinance, it’s there,” he said.

Council President Roberta Reddon asked if other members of the board thought the ordinance needed to be updated.

She said that some municipalities had enacted laws prohibiting the ownership of certain breeds in some areas.

Mayor Bill Perry said the borough needed to be cautious with any wording if a breed was going to be “singled out.”

“Numerous laws have been overturned,” he said.

Varsik said he thought the law the borough has on the books is thorough and that an update isn’t necessary at this time.

But Varsik said that if a 150 to 200-pound dog is loose, you don’t know how it’s going to react when it sees another dog.

One resident also said that she has noticed a dog with a leash that allows it to cross the sidewalk.

Councilman Roy Williams said that homeowners must provide for safe passage on the sidewalks.

Varsik said the leash should go only as far as the sidewalk, not beyond.

Council also discussed the borough’s Beautification project, which would include work on 24 planters, plus large planters and the garden area in front the Veterans’ Memorial.

The estimated cost of the project is about $5,000.

Councilwoman Sue Crawford said she thought $5,000 seemed like a lot of money for the proposed work and asked for a more detailed description of the job.

Council agreed to ask for a more detailed list of the plantings and work to be done.

Reddon reported that the Drinker Creek project completion date, which was supposed to be in November, has been delayed.

She said the construction contractor had been granted an extension from PennDOT. The deadline for completion is now July 2014, Reddon said.

She also reported that the borough will received $27,000 in Community Block Grant funds to take down two or three blighted properties in 2014.