Dog Park Questions
Proposed Bethel Dog Park
Articles have been written on the proposed Bethel Dog Park, but we haven’t seen anything on issues our selectmen may want to consider before giving their final okay for this project. Why is this?
We’ve heard this is not a town project, yet the surveyor’s paperwork (done by Gary Inman) says “Proposed Bethel Dog Park, Town of Bethel Project.” What this tells us is that it sounds like this is a project for the Town of Bethel. Have the Selectmen considered the following?
1. Is the Town of Bethel going to maintain this proposed dog park?
2. Who is going to take care of all the fecal waste? Summer and winter? What are the plans for disposal?
3. Who is going to snow blow a path in the winter to get to the park? Or is this just a three season park?
4. Are we, the taxpayers, involved in this endeavor? The proposed park is on property owned by the town. Does this make us liable? Bear with me here…
5. Who is going to be the responsible party for dog fights? Will the town be responsible for the veterinary bills resulting from the dog fights, dog bites, or the doctors’ bills that may be incurred when a dog may bite an adult or child?
The proposed Dog Park is infringing on a State funded snowmobile trail, maintained by local groomers. The proposed dog park pushes the trail off to one side-into a swampy, muddy terrain. With a dog fence up, what consideration has been given for the trail groomers to be able to adequately groom the trails due to groomer width? Has anyone talked to the State groomers on this? This very important trail head leads to Newry, Andover, Rumford, Upton, Rangeley, etc. It allows snowmobilers to leave Bethel and go all the way to northern New Hampshire and even into Canada if they wish. This is a high-volume trail and it is going to be very noisy for the animals when snowmobilers go by. We would think dog owners might fear what the dogs will do when these machines go by. We can see it happening, “You have to move your trail because it is scaring our dogs.”
Snowmobiling is the number one tourist attraction in Maine, ahead of skiing. Many businesses such as Mallard Mart, Pat’s Pizza, C.N. Brown, Irving, Dunkin Donuts, Glidden’s Foodliner, area inns and restaurants benefit from this winter business. Do you want to lose this business the town enjoys in the winter because this trail may be in jeopardy?
Bethel is known for its walking/biking/hiking trails. We have many, many back roads and dirt roads that people can walk their dogs on. Why do we need a dog park in this area? We are not against dog parks in the cities where there is a need, but with the many avenues we have in and around the town for people to walk their dogs, is a dog park really necessary? We are not against dog parks at all – just not in this proposed area and have questions as to where the burden lies. Has anyone checked into Ethel Bisbee property? Or talked to Mahoosuc Land Trust about possibilities there?
This is not a good fit for town property and it is not a good fit for snowmobilers and the trail this proposed park will be located by. And, has anyone discussed this with the abutters who reside in and around this property?
David Crockett, President, Bethel Snow Twisters
Robert Lowell, Trail Groomer