On Monday (10-03-16), I met with Cathy Fochtman and Melissa Rier. Cathy reviewed each piece of the plan for “Phase 1” of the dog park. She went over the two items, the 100′ fence to block the front entrance to the park, I don’t recall the cost. She moved on to the fresh water feature, dwelling at first on the $30,000 it would cost to bring water from the street to the field, then brought out a picture of the fixture she had chosen. It was immediately clear that the fixture lacked a dog height fountain. Instead it had a bottle filler feature which Cathy pointed out would help with the problem they still have with soccer players leaving bottles behind. When I mentioned that there was no place for dogs to drink from the fountain, she pointed out that dog owners could fill their bowls from the bottle filler. This is unacceptable, as some dogs will guard resources that come from home, like water bowls.
I asked her about phase 2 of the dog park, specifically, whether there would be one. There would not be a phase 2. Unable to evict ABYS from the property, Cathy instead envisioned a continued shared space. Unfortunately, a dog park requires more and I felt I had to decline the plan, which I did at the time and then again by email.
Personally I would like to have a fence, on the chance that my dog would stop at it, but I could not in good faith agree to a plan that fails on every single promise I’d made to everybody who has given a signature or helped in any other way. Not only that, but I couldn’t do that to myself. I had worked too long and too hard to settle for anything short of a safe, inclusive, and enclosed park where dogs and their owners could establish a community.
At the same meeting I learned that the offer of Jones Field for a park, which was larger than I had originally thought, and therefore could have been agreeable, albeit reluctantly, was an offer of approximately three eighths of the park, surrounded by the brook, volleyball and basketball courts. That was a disappointment. As it was, they had already decided that the space was not appropriate.