Park Advisory Committee Moves Forward on TNR and Smoking Ordinance

The January 26 Park Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting was held in the auditorium of the Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum.

According to John Hess, Tulare County Administrative Analyst, the committee decided that Trap, Neuter & Release (TNR) would be the most “humane and cost effective way to maintain the cat population at Mooney Grove.”

He added that the staff compiled information on programs throughout the state that have worked on controlling cat populations, and that lead to their decision to implement TNR. County Administrative Officer, Mike Spata, met with Hess and the Visalia Feral Cat Coalition (VFCC) and told them to proceed to put together a program that will accommodate the county’s needs and the needs of Mooney Grove.

The VFCC will be working out the details of the program, such as a feeding protocol and who will be in charge. The volunteers will also be required to wear identification badges. A final document will be approved at the next PAC meeting on Wednesday, February 24. PAC then plans on presenting their program to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors (TCBOS)for approval at their March 15 regular meeting.

PAC also decided to follow Visalia’s lead in terms of a smoking ordinance. The City of Visalia voted to put up signs asking park goers not to smoke in certain areas instead of approving a hard ordinance.

The Tulare County Health Committee said they would work with PAC to implement the new smoking ban and will be conducting an evaluation to see if the signs work.

Cutler and Mooney Grove Parks will start charging for entrance in March, and that is when the Health Committee will start their evaluation.

The committee will keep a tally of how many people use the park and then put the signs up in June. The following year they will come back to the parks and ask the park users if the signs requesting no smoking worked.

A member of the PAC committee resigned for personal reasons from district 4. The current vacancy is for a position to be selected by the District 4 County Supervisor and would end in June of 2019.

Applicants need not live within District 4 to apply. Applications will be reviewed and presented to the Board of Supervisors for appointment.

Applications may be picked at the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at 2800 W. Burrel Ave, Visalia, CA 93291; or online at http://tularecounty.ca.gov/clerkoftheboard/index.cfm/board-commissions-and-committee/.

In regard to the well situation in Mooney Grove, Neil Pilegard, Tulare County Park and Recreation Manager, said that it is a matter of weeks–not months–before the new well will be operational.

After the meeting, Pilegard lead the group on a tour of Mooney Grove, where he pointed out the new well and showed the committee members the maintenance workers’ efforts to clean the pond. Mooney Grove looked much better than it did a few months ago, as the goose poop had been cleaned up and many of the broken picnic tables had been repaired.

The next PAC meeting will be at Cutler Park in the maintenance building on February 24 at 3pm.

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