MORE DOG PARK CONCERNS
The letter of Nov. 29 about the Dog Park Update leaves me with some questions and comments about the “Proposed Bethel Dog Park.” Having said that, I did some research.
First off – The letter leads you to believe there have been and are ongoing meetings with the snowmobile clubs. In actuality there has been only one official meeting. There are no minutes on record of any committee meetings between the Dog Park Committee and the Bethel Snow Twisters. Nor have they been contacted. There have been conversations with a (one) member – nothing official or officially presented. No one from our club was solicited for design plans. I spoke to the President of the Club, the Secretary/Treasurer and the Trail Master (Bethel Snow Twisters). I spoke to the Secretary of the Greenstock Club and was informed of the one and only meeting.
The clubs are trying to keep their trail(s). And keep them from being infringed upon. A (one) snowmobile club member was shown a design plan that was presented to him on the situated dog park and the snowmobile trail had already been moved. It was already on the plan (without asking for any ideas or design input). Of course the “club leaders” have expressed the need for an alteration to the trail – the dog park is infringing on their trail. They (the “Committee”) just went ahead and moved it and then showed it to a (one) club member. The trail has been there for years.
In the Nov. 29 letter it states: “When the plan is finally accepted.” ….I think there are still many unanswered questions and concerns before anything is accepted. Back to: town liability/lawsuits (from possible dog bites/fights to other dogs and humans), doctor/vet bills, maintenance of the park, is it just for Bethel residents' use? Is it a four-season park? Who's going to monitor “strange” dogs coming into the park from passing motorists? If there's used “doggy bags” in containers provided, who is going to empty those? It's still town property. Who is liable for such impending issues/concerns? Will the town have to purchase liability insurance? At whose expense?
It is my understanding that to dig out, cut trees/brush and fill in the “proposed” area, it could cost in the vicinity of $25,000 to $40,000 plus another $18,000 to $20,000 for the fencing. Isn't there another place more feasible and attractive? And not infringe on the trail system.
Somehow I'm just afraid the taxpayers are going to end up paying for something – liability insurance, lawsuits for doctors' bills, veterinary bills and maintenance, to name a few.
I hope anyone else who has similar concerns will call their Select Person/Planning Board Member and let them know they have concerns/issues. It is my understanding that a meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12 at the Town Office concerning the “Proposed Bethel Dog Park.” Hopefully there will be some answers there.
The idea of dogs running free and playing and socializing is wonderful, and I agree with that. I think that in Metropolitan areas there is a need for such a park that is supported by municipal funds, but in rural Bethel, Maine? I also agree that the snowmobilers should be able to run and play and socialize on their own established trail that they have worked on and maintained for many years.
Bethel Dog Owner