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Dog park heads to city council for final approval

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A dog park in Hudson might soon become a reality.
July 18, 2019 07:05 pm

HUDSON — The Department of Public Works Committee of the Common Council approved a resolution Wednesday in support of a dog park at a remediated brownfield site in the city.

The Common Council authorized the mayor to enter into a memorandum of understanding for the construction of a dog park at the former Foster Refrigerator Corporation site on June 8. The Public Works Committee on Wednesday reviewed the plans and several members of the public, including city officials in the audience, asked questions about the planned park.

Fourth Ward Alderman Rich Volo made a motion to send the resolution to the full Common Council and received full support from the committee. The motion was seconded by Minority Leader and 5th Ward Alderman Dominic Merante. Committee Chairwoman and 5th Ward Alderwoman Eileen Halloran introduced the resolution authored by Mayor Rick Rector to the committee.

The dog park will be an enclosed 2.5 acres on the site, with separate areas for large and small dogs. The site, at the corner of Second and Dock streets, will be shared with a trailhead for the Empire State Trail.

A group of residents in favor of a dog park have raised more than $12,000 for the site, including the fencing that is required, as well as dog waste bag dispensers and signage.

A committee made up of volunteer citizens will oversee the park and its maintenance.

Annabel Taylor, a member of the dog park committee, presented information at the DPW meeting Tuesday. She said a dog behaviorist has been working with them to write the rules that will be posted at the site.

A landscape architect will design the park. Fifteen dogs will be allowed in each the small and large dog park. An owner may bring two dogs into the dog park at a time, Taylor said. A pro-bono deputy dog park officer at the park trained and certified to break up dogfights will be on call at times to help assist when there is an issue. Contacts for the dog control officer and Hudson Police Department will also be posted. The Department of Public Works will mow the lawns and remove trash.

Wooden blocks are being proposed for seating. The committee is also considering adding shade to the dog park.

“I think what we do want to do is start with the simplest iteration and develop it as needs or wants come up,” Taylor said. “I think adding trees is a great idea. People and dogs love trees.”

Because the site is a remediated brownfield, its uses and construction are limited.

Talks of a dog park in Hudson were stymied for years until Mayor Rick Rector held a “community conversation” about a dog park on Oct. 15, when three potential sites owned by the city were reviewed and an agreement was reached with all those in attendance that the Foster’s Refrigerator site would be most suitable.

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 site.

“The Empire State Trail is beginning construction this week on their trailhead which is adjacent to the property,” Department of Public Works Superintendent Rob Perry said.

The resolution will go to the full Common Council for approval. The next meeting of the Common Council will be Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers, 520 Warren St.

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