STANHOPE BOROUGH, NJ - For the past couple weeks, residents of Stanhope Borough have been phoning the council in regard to pet owners who are not curbing their dogs.
The general area of the problem has been occurring among the sidewalks near the municipal building.
Borough administrator Brian McNeilly has recognized the situation, and is in the process of ordering 500 metal signs to notify people to curb their dogs.
The signs, which cost about $18 each, will be on Linden, Church, Kelly and High Street.
“It is your responsibility to pick it up, and have little plastic containers that go on a leash,” said McNeilly, who is also in the process of working with the environmental committee for this year's Stanhope Day to spread the word of curbing pets as well.
“I think awareness is important,” stated councilman Jim Benson.
“If they don’t have plastic bags, you know they aren’t going to clean it up," Benson added later.
“Another place we need signs is at the parks,” said mayor Rosemarie Maio.
Councilwoman Diana Kuncken stated, “There is also going to be a small group of people that are going to do it anyway.”
Councilman Bill Thornton had suggested the possibility of whether it is acceptable or not to take a picture of those not following the rules on a cell phone.
Benson who agreed commented with, “What you need to do is embarrass some people.”
McNeilly had also suggested using the Nixle system to spread the word about pet waste cleanup.
Nixle is a system that lets residents in a town sign up to receive text notifications from the local police department.
“I like the signage but would hate using the Nixle system for this,” said councilman George Graham.
Graham had also recommended that the council hand out a paper with information on curbing pets at the upcoming rabies clinic this April.
“It is worse in the winter with the cold weather,” said Graham.
McNeilly had clarified that calls from the residents have been frequent with complaints.
“And by all means we should encourage the environmental committee to do something at Stanhope Day,” addressed Maio, which takes place in the borough every June.
A resident who receives a second offense for not curbing their pet within the borough may receive up to a $1,250 fine.
Other circumstances for not curbing pets may also lead a resident to serve jail time or community service for up to 90 days.
The council hopes that the signs will give a warning and prevent people from not following borough rules.
McNeilly stated that there is money available in the signage fund to cover all costs.