HOLMES BEACH – The city’s beautification committee, which was asked to oversee the dog park by Mayor Carmel Monti in December, made several recommendations for the park last week.
Chair Melissa Snyder said she and Commissioner David Zaccagnino feel the park needs to be divided in order to provide a place for small dogs.
“Also there’s the issue of proper water for the dogs,” she continued. “A hose with two bowls is not good for people’s dogs. We need an actual dog drinking fountain. Right now, they have a fountain that belongs in front of a funeral home.”
“The third recommendation is to remove the benches that are there and replace them with the sturdy benches that are at the trolley stops. They are a liability. There is a 300-pound weight limit, and if two people sit on them they will break.”
Member Jim Dunne said they would need to install another gate and a shelter. He said the small dog portion should be in left field because there’s parking and access.
Snyder suggested a sunshade instead of building another shelter. She also suggested more extensive rules for the park.
“You need to know whether each dog has had its rabies inoculation and its license,” she said. “You need to have your leash in hand at all times, not sitting under the pavilion having a tea party while you dog is running loose. You are supposed to be in close proximity to your dog.”
She said there also are dog park etiquette rules such as never leaving your dog unattended.
“I would like to see four or five people who use the dog park all the time – very sensible, calm people on a dog park committee,” she continued. “I can liaison between you and this committee.”
Snyder recommended Robert Longworth to head the committee, and he accepted.
Monti said there are funds for the fence and that he would discuss the benches and dog watering system with Public Works Foreman Gary Blunden.
Barbara Parkman asked Snyder if the fountain would stay in the park, and she replied, “You made the decision to put that fountain there. You did no research on what dogs needed and now we have a fountain that is not serviceable.”
Zaccagnino said the mayor would make the decision. Two residents then read letters praising the park.