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After Mills Park site rejected, Hagerstown looking for another place to build dog park

September 10, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Hagerstown city officials will continue to seek a place to build an off-leash dog park.

Cindy Blackstock, community development coordinator for the City of Hagerstown, told the City Council on Tuesday that a proposal to convert Mills Park into a park that would let people exercise and socialize their dogs failed to generate a sufficient amount of public support.

"There was a lot of support for the concept, but not the location" at Mills Park, she said.

About half the people who attended a meeting last spring to discuss the issue said transforming Mills Park into a dog park would lead to increased traffic, inadequate parking and noise from barking, Blackstock said.

Proponents claimed the park would create a suitable environment for dogs to exercise and socialize, she said. Supporters of the proposal also asserted that a dog park could make the city more attractive to potential home buyers.

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The council gave Blackstock permission to look for a different spot where a dog park could be established.

Blackstock said last year, she thought the project would cost about $45,000. It would contain, among other things, fenced-off areas to separate timid dogs from more aggressive ones, she said.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh suggested that Blackstock consider sites in the county that are on the fringe of the city limits. That way, Nigh said, the city could ask the Washington County Commissioners to help pay the cost.

The council agreed to consider asking for state funds to help pay for the project as well.

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