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What you need to know for 04/24/2017

Scotia and Glenville each planning to build a dog park

Scotia and Glenville each planning to build a dog park

Scotia and Glenville are moving forward this year with long-dormant plans to build separate dog park

Scotia and Glenville are moving forward this year with long-dormant plans to build separate dog parks.

Scotia is currently seeking residents to serve on a steering committee that will develop and implement a plan over the next few months for the construction and operation of a dog park. The goal would be to have a park up and running one year from the committee’s first meeting, said Mayor Kris Kastberg.

Meanwhile, the town of Glenville will hold a public information meeting next month on a plan to construct a dog park at the corner of Van Buren and Swaggertown roads. The 32-acre parcel of land was once a farm and was willed to the town in 2007 by the late Mark Andersen with the wish that it be used as a dog park.

Both the village and the town have had plans for their own dog parks on the back burner and, by coincidence, those plans are finally moving forward at the same time.

In the village’s case, the recent construction of a pavilion in Collins Park forced the issue. The pavilion can seat 100 people in a secluded grassy area of Collins Park known as the meadows and is ideal for large picnics, parties, reunions and weddings. Kastberg said this area of the park used to be a favorite among dog owners to let their pets run and play free of a leash. Village code requires dogs be kept under the owner’s control and on a leash when in the park.

“It wasn’t quite up to village code, but we kind of just informally let people back there with their dogs,” he said. “Now that the pavilion is there, we’re not so keen on having people letting their pets run wild.”

The steering committee has been charged with coming up with a list of needs and requirements for establishing a dog park that includes a review of possible locations, a set of rules and regulations for using and operating the park, a design and construction budget, and identifying and pursuing sponsors and funding options for the construction cost.

Once a plan is complete, and when funds are available, the village would construct, own and operate the park.

Kastberg said he knows of at least four locations that are under review for a dog park, including a portion of Collins Park, the Flint House Museum property off South Reynolds Street, a wooded area off of Pershing Drive near the railroad tracks and a recreational spot at the end of the village’s bike trail. Some of these are more ideal than others, he said.

“The railroad tracks might not be so good, since it’s wooded,” he said. “And we would have to talk with the person who owns the property along the bike trail. You also have to be careful about the noise with neighbors so barking dogs don’t annoy somebody who’s trying to relax in their house.”

Anyone could use the park so long as they get a permit, which would be free for residents and carry a small fee for non-residents. The permit would ensure that a person’s dogs are licensed with the town and up to date on vaccinations.

In Glenville, a location for the dog park was established seven years ago. But progress on the plans stalled as town park employees put all their energy into redeveloping Maalwyck Park off Route 5 with new pavilions, bathrooms, parking, an access road, water and sewer connections.

Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said plans for the dog park finally advanced at the last Park Planning Committee meeting.

“Our Maalwyck plans were held up because of archeological testing that had to be done there, and now that’s all done,” he said. “So we’ve turned our attention to the dog park and realizing Mr. Andersen’s wishes.”

A portion of the parcel that Andersen willed the town is already being used for the town’s leaf composting facility. Recreational trails are also part of a master plan for the land.

A public meeting on the topic will be held next month, though a date has yet to be set.

Anyone interested in serving on Scotia’s dog park steering committee should email village_of_scotia@hotmail.com with their name, address and a contact number. Village trustee Gregg Zeman has been tasked to head the committee.

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