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Advocates already want to expand new dog park in Malta

Advocates already want to expand new dog park in Malta

The non-profit group that runs the new town dog park on East Line Road is looking to expand the park
Advocates already want to expand new dog park in Malta
The Romp and Play Dog Park on East Line Road in Malta on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

The non-profit group that runs the new town dog park on East Line Road is looking to expand the park’s facilities to serve more dogs.

The East Line Romp and Play Committee is asking the town for about $14,000 in funding to create two new fenced-in areas, one for small dogs and another for training classes or for solitary dogs.

The request, which must be approved by the Town Board, comes only a few months after the East Line Romp and Play Park opened on 20 acres of town-owned land at 584 East Line Road. Backers say the park has been busy.

“We’ve had great response from the people using the park,” said Kathleen Kalwa, vice president of the committee.

The organization has more than 200 members who pay membership fees to use the park, she said. About two-thirds of members are Malta residents, she said, while the rest come from surrounding communities.

There is currently one fenced-in area which all dogs use to run and play off-leash. Kalwa said the committee thinks there’s a need for a second fenced area where small dogs can play apart from some of the larger dogs, as well as for a third fenced area for training.

Including two new dog waste disposal stations and additional paving, she said the cost of the expansion would be about $14,000.

The money could come from a existing town account for capital improvements at the dog park. The account has a current balance of $22,000.

The Town Board could vote on the appropriation at its regular meeting Wednesday, or it could ask the committee to submit a funding request for consideration in deliberations on the 2015 town budget. Two of the five board members have spoken in favor of approving the spending, as long as money is available.

Committee members favor the quicker action.

“We’d like to get moving as soon as possible,” Kalwa said. “We would love to get it in this year.”

The Romp and Play Committee was formed in 2012 to develop, manage and maintain the park, after town officials indicated they weren’t interested in taking the lead on the project.

Malta is one of many communities across the country that since the 1990s have established fenced dog parks as a way to let dogs exercise safely off-leash. Many communities, including Malta, have strict leash laws when dogs are in public.

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