City Council possibly near final vote on dog park

April 16, 2013|By DON AINES |

The Hagerstown City Council reached a consensus Tuesday on the site of a dog park, with three of the five members expressing their support for building it at Fairgrounds Park.

The council could vote next Tuesday on a resolution that includes provisions requested by Councilman Donald Munson. Those include lighting that would not disturb surrounding residents, security cameras and not opening the dog park to the public until the Dog Park Task Force has raised its share of the money for the park.

The council members also discussed the pros and cons of building a dog park at City Park and Hager Park. Councilmen Munson, Kristin Aleshire and Lewis C. Metzner expressed support for Fairgrounds Park, while Councilman Martin Brubaker said Fairgrounds Park had disadvantages, and Councilwoman Penny Nigh said City Park was her choice.

The park would be paid for with $40,000 in city excise taxes and $20,000 from the task force, city Engineer Rodney Tissue told the council.

Task force Chairwoman Maria Mestre said Fairgrounds Park was her group’s choice from the beginning. The park would include a 1.05-acre area for large dogs and a 0.7-acre enclosure for small dogs, she said.

The park could open this summer, Mestre said.

“We have commitments for $6,000,” task force member Tony Bittner said.
Mestre said the group can begin actively raising funds for the rest of its share once the council votes to approve the dog park. The task force’s share will be spent on security cameras, lighting, benches and other amenities for the park, she said.

Mayor David S. Gysberts said he hopes the city will have additional dog parks in the future.

Munson said there are a lot of apartment dwellers who would use a dog park “and they need some place to exercise their dogs.”

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