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Council says 'no' to dog park at Charles Williams Park

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    Residents on Mill Street want their say in a proposed dog park at the Charles Williams Park end of their street.
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    The proposed dog park would occupy one acre of space at the Charles Williams Park at the end of Mill Street.
December 20, 2017 11:30 pm Updated: December 21, 2017 05:40 am

HUDSON — The Hudson Common Council unanimously opposed the construction of a dog park at Charles Williams Park and called on the mayor to explore other location options at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Plans to build a dog park at the Charles Williams Park at the eastern end of Mill Street have been in the works for a decade and were included in the original plans for Williams Park.

On Dec. 12, city residents appeared at the informal meeting of the Hudson Common Council to voice their concerns about the proposed dog park.

Mill Street is a dead-end street with no sidewalk and no on-street parking. The park includes a playground and pavilion.

A letter signed by nine residents of Mill Street was read aloud Dec. 12 by 3rd Ward Supervisor-elect Linda Mussmann.

The letter read: “We, the families on Mill Street, are very concerned and want an opportunity to discuss this before the final decision is made ... The safety of our children is the No. 1 concern.

“With a dog park located right behind our homes, we are worried about the possibility of dogs on the loose, strangers coming and going in the neighborhood, the lack of parking spaces, the level of noise, the increased traffic on our quiet street and the sanitary issues that come with a dog park.”

The dog park has been supported by the efforts of a collective of city dog owners. Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton estimates residents have privately raised $14,000 for the project over the years.

The Council passed a resolution Tuesday in opposition to the park based on the public’s concerns.

The Council “believes that issues surrounding safety to the public, cleanliness and the general prudence of constructing a dog park at Charles Williams Park weigh against such a park being constructed and operated at this location,” according to the resolution.

“I think everything in the letter was spot on and it is unfortunate the conversation was never had,” Mayor-elect Rick Rector said.

“I am in favor of a dog park and I don’t want to anybody to misconstrue that, but I am not in favor of the dog park on Mill Street because I respect the people that live in that area and what they request,” 2nd Ward Alderwoman Tiffany Garriga said before the vote was passed.

A resolution has not been proposed for the Common Council to review to convert part of the property into a dog park. A formal resolution for Council members to vote on is not required for the dog park because it is a privately funded project and uses no city dollars.

Rector said as mayor he will work with the public to find a better location for the dog park.

Fourth Ward Supervisor William Hughes suggested the city look at the North Bay as a possible location. The city is hoping to open the space to the public and construct trails as part of the state’s 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.