BY CHERYL SLAVIN
At its meeting Tuesday night, The Stony Point Town Board unanimously passed a resolution to establish a Stony Point Town Dog Park on town property. As Councilman Jim Monaghan explained, the idea for a dedicated dog park arose during the 2013 campaign season as a response to the many requests made by town residents to GOP candidates.
The resolution, sponsored by Monaghan and Councilman Tom Basile, calls for the Town to budget $15,000 toward the creation of the park, with additional money to be raised through private donations. The resolution also mandates that the town will establish a seven member Dog Park Advisory Committee to be comprised of two members of the town board, at least one resident with a background in landscape architecture and four additional town residents who are dog owners. The chairman of the Planning Board will also serve as an ex-officio member of the Committee.
Supervisor Geoff Finn noted that currently dogs are not allowed in any of the town parks. The establishment of a dog park would remedy that situation as something the town needs and wants.
The project is slated to be completed by the second quarter of 2015. Basile predicts that the committee will be established by the end of February which should provide enough time for planning and construction. His preliminary research shows that the total cost can range from $25,000 to $125,000, and the town’s $15,000 will serve as “seed money.” He also stated that the money is already available within the town’s budget. “We intend to build the best facility at the lowest cost possible,” he explained, “including building the park by town personnel on property the town already owns.”
Stony Point resident Pat Coleman, who also works in Clarkstown animal control, raised a number of questions about the park’s feasibility. She expressed concern about the burden it might place on the town police force, especially as Stony Point only has a part-time dog control officer. She also raised liability and safety issues, as well as sanitation concerns. Basile assured her that the Advisory Committee would be looking at “best practices” around the country and properly research the safest, most efficient way to construct the park for the enjoyment of all.
Anyone interested in serving on the Dog Park Advisory Committee can email a letter of intent to the Town.
In other business, the board voted to submit its $100,000 Community Block Grant request this year to fund the construction of bathrooms in the lower level of Kirkbride Hall, so as to make the downstairs room handicapped accessible and more easily rentable. Additionally, the bidding for last year’s grant to construct handicapped accessible bathrooms in the RHO building will finally be open from February 6 to March 6.
The board also approved several expenditure requests by Highway Superintendent Larry Brissing for repairs to trucks and equipment as well as the purchase of a new hammerdrill ($1645). Wear and tear on his 15-year-old trucks have necessitated the replacement of two salters ($6,200) as well as a vacuum pump ($1,350) and an upgrade on tire chains for several trucks ($5,300).
Brissing also asked for money to replace an aged snow plow that not only needs a new clutch and engine, but also requires major repairs to its rotted body. After some discussion about the merits of spending less money to repair a truck that is practically worthless versus spending a lot more money on a new truck, the board ultimately did not come to any resolution at the meeting.