Place for Pups

By at September 14, 2017 | 2:20 pm | Print

dog-running

City Looks to Make Dog Park Reality

After getting an influx of requests by citizens for a dog park, the Common Council has approved moving forward with one at Washington Park.

“This is the Top 5 category of questions I am asked on a constant basis,” said Mayor Erin E. Stewart. “Everyone wants to know when New Britain will get a dog park. Two months ago when I did Facebook Live Open Office Hours an overwhelming number of people asked about a dog park.”

There were plans in the works years ago for one off of Stanwood Park, but nothing materialized.

“There are a lot of concerns and that is why no one really moved forward. Liability is always a concern when you have dogs,” said Stewart. “We have done a great job researching and looking at what other communities have done with their dog parks and how it would best fit New Britain.”

The City will use $25,000 from the contingency fund for making the dog park. It will include fencing which uses the most amount of those funds.

Currently, there are just under 2,000 dogs registered in the City. Many are pit bulls.

“Washington Park has been underutilized and there is an opportunity to increase public use of it. There used to be a pool there, but there will not be a pool there again. How can we best use this land?,” said Mayor Stewart.

There will be two separate areas fenced in based on the size of dog. One is for small dogs and the other for large dogs. There will be disposal waste bags.

“We are not tearing up ground. We are using the existing footprint of the park and are trying to figure out the best location to put it,” added Stewart. “Most dog parks have different requirements.”

Those requirements include being 50 to 100 feet away from residential homes. This will be well beyond that range.

There is also plenty of parking at Washington Park for those using the park.

“It is unlike many previous proposals where there was no parking,” Stewart said.

Dogs will have to be registered with the City in order to use the park. The public works department will retain the parks. Rules, regulations and liability will be posted on a sign right before you walk into the park. Animal control officers will be around the park often to be sure everything is going well.

“There have been some concerns on how it will go, but I don’t think we will have any problems,” Stewart said. “I think it is a great amenity to add to Washington Park and it adds to the quality of life of residents. It also adds to the quality of life for our dogs.”

Stewart continued that it is a great thing for the community and an easy thing for the City to do.

It is anticipated to be completed for the Spring of 2018. A company will have to be hired to put up the fences and make signs.

On Wednesday the Council also agreed to move forward with Skate Park improvements at Stanley Quarter Park.

“We have a lot of residents that use it and it has been in dire need of improvements,” said Stewart. “Conditions at the park are unsafe.”

The park is 20 years old. TO Design and Rampage will work on the project using $22,000 from State Local Capitol Improvement funds that were given to the City last year.

Weather permitting it should be ready by the time snow falls.

.News Feature

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