New Windsor considering a dog park

By CLOEY CALLAHAN
Posted 3/31/21

The Town of New Windsor’s recreation department is now eyeing what it would take to bring a dog park to the town, after a request was made from Town Supervisor George Meyers. Recreation …

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New Windsor considering a dog park

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The Town of New Windsor’s recreation department is now eyeing what it would take to bring a dog park to the town, after a request was made from Town Supervisor George Meyers. Recreation Director Matt Veronesi has been researching what it would take for the town to have a dog park for years behind the scenes, and now he’s drafted proposals that will be put in front of the town board in April.

“I’ve been recreation director for almost 15 years now and I’ve always wanted to do a dog park, it just never happened,” said Veronesi. “I was really pleased when the supervisor asked for this request. I had a lot of information from the years of collecting it and did further current research.”

Two main proposals are currently being considered. One is at the Kristi Babcock Complex and the other at San Giacomo Park. The latter would be a cheaper option by $15,000 for the town considering it would revitalize already there infrastructure, like the fencing, bathrooms, water and electricity. Meanwhile, if the Kristi Babcock Complex location is chosen, all of those things would have to be built from the ground up.

Despite where the location is, there will be a nominal fee to use the dog park, which Veronesi pitched after seeing that all successful dog parks in neighboring areas had this model. The nominal fee would not only allow for a sense of ownership for its members, but would ensure that all dogs are vaccinated and that there are no irresponsible dog owners using the park. While it is only in the preliminary stages, Veronesi said they are considering either making the park only open to New Windsor residents, or having a higher fee for non-residents.

“It could be a small $30 or $45 for the year price,” said Veronesi. “The access to the park could be a key fob system, touch pad or key. The members are the only ones who would have access.”

Alongside having a bathroom and other infrastructure, the park would have camera security. When it comes to the highlights of the actual dog park, it will have a double gated entrance to ensure no dogs escape and inside the fencing there will be ramps and tunnels for the dogs and benches for the adults. The park’s current proposal splits up the dogs with one half being for 30 pounds and under and the other half for bigger dogs.

“Successful dog parks it’s about socialization of the dogs but also socialization of the owners as well and they enjoy each other’s company as the dogs are playing,” said Veronesi. “They get to socialize too.”

Veronesi said while dog parks can range anywhere from $25,000 to 85,000, no taxpayers would be affected in New Windsor because it will likely be funded through the parklands fund, which requires new developers to pay a fee towards.

The proposals will be discussed at the Town of New Windsor’s April work session and potentially be voted at the following board meeting. The construction of the dog park wouldn’t take more than a few months.

“It’s long overdue,” said Meyers. “I’ve heard many requests for a dog park and now we are able to start to look at it as we update all of our parks … I don’t think this will take long unless I get objections from any of the board members, but I don’t think we will.”

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