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Dog park in the works

Danielle Ryan

(5/10) A potential dog park is in the early stages of discussion within the town. Drawings showing the potential location and appearance of the dog park were done by Jerry Muir, Emmitsburg’s zoning technician, and were presented to the Council during the May 2nd Town Council meeting. Some members of the public voiced their concern for the proposed location, which was presented to be placed behind Southgate. The location causes some concern for families with children as well as the potential for high noise levels of the dogs disrupting people in their homes. Another concern with the location was the actual terrain, which is very wet most of the year as it sits at a lower ground level, in a "basin." Costs to build the dog park in this location would be higher due to the necessity of an upgrade to the terrain to allow for proper drainage of the area.

The dog park would be 150 feet by 100 feet and would be divided into two sections, one section for small dogs and one section for large dogs. The proposed fencing was only four feet high, but after voiced concern from the public and the Commissioners, it was agreed that six feet would be a better height. Further research will be conducted to verify proper dimensions.

As stated by President O’Donnell, "there is nothing set in stone yet, the Council has not voted on anything." The proposal of the dog park is in the early stages and other potential locations are being discussed. The only physical limitation hindering potential locations is the plan for a second water plant in the future. Council members discussed possibly placing the dog park behind the baseball field or further away from the homes.

O’Donnell also mentioned that there definitely is an interest seen among citizens of Emmitsburg for a dog park located somewhere within town. Many people don’t have a large back yard for their dog (s) to run around and blow off steam, and the idea of a dog park is seen as a good idea to some. Other Commissioners agree that there may be a need for a dog park, but the location needs to be discussed further. Vice President Sweeney also brought up the idea that having a dog park located in town could potentially be a "tourist attraction" as many people travel to different towns visiting dog parks with their dogs.

Commissioner Mellor wanted members involved with the project to present some additional options of other locations and would like to see further research done for ways to best use the available space. The idea of a dog park is viewed positively, as long as it can be done in such a way as not to bring discontent to the citizens and residents of neighboring homes.

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