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City dog park gets Council approval

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    A map of the Hudson dog park. The Common Council is expected to vote on the plans tonight.
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    A closeup shot of Rolo, a dog who loves to swim. The Hudson Common Council approved creation of a city dog park Tuesday.
August 21, 2019 05:40 pm Updated: August 21, 2019 10:07 pm

HUDSON — Soon city dog owners will no longer have to drive across the river to Athens or south to Germantown to use a dog park.

The Hudson Common Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday in favor of putting a dog park at the former Foster’s Refrigeration site off of Second Street in the city. The decision sparked a wave of applause from the audience. Common Council President Thomas DePietro abstained from voting.

“I’d like to recognize that everyone that put in hard work to make this happen, and I look forward to being a dog-friendly city,” 5th Ward Alderman Dominic Merante said before casting his yes vote.

After the passage of the resolution Tuesday, Dog Park Committee member Carole Osterink immediately reached out to the contractor who will install the fence and is awaiting word on when installation can begin.

The dog park would measure about 1.5 acres, with an area for large dogs and another for small dogs. Fifteen dogs will be allowed in each of the small and large sections. An owner will be allowed to bring two dogs into the park at a time, according to the rules.

The dog park is being managed and funded by a group of citizens that has raised more than $14,000. The money will cover the cost of the installation and the fencing materials, Osterink said. The fence would be a foot higher than the four-foot fences in Athens and Germantown.

The group will also use funds to install a hard surface in the fenced-in vestibule leading to the entrance of the park, dog waste dispensers and signage, which will include rules about using the park. Other amenities could be purchased through additional fundraising efforts, Osterink said. Some grant funding deadlines have passed this year, but the group plans to apply for others in the future.

On Feb. 19, the Common Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a letter of understanding with the Hudson River Valley Greenway for the trailhead to be developed at the same site. The trailhead will be for the Empire Trail — also known as the state bike trail — near Dock Street. The state bike trail will enter Hudson from Third Street and exit the city from Harry Howard Avenue.

The construction of the trailhead, which is scheduled to be completed by the fall, would not interfere with the installation of the fence in the dog park, Mayor Rick Rector said Tuesday.

In other business, the Common Council voted in favor of a number of other resolutions, including a resolution opposing federal and state legislation that allows for heavy and longer tractor-trailers; a resolution accepting $4,000 grant from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s program for road safety for installing crosswalks; and authorizing the mayor to sign a contract with the state Department of State executing the state grant after the city was awarded $10 million in the 2018 Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.