Dog Park Task Force Considers Bumping Back Another Year

By Jaime Craven

Depending on how their presentation to the Selectmen goes on Monday, December 4 the ad hoc Dog Park Task Force may push their application to 2018, members said at Thursday’s meeting.

The Task Force plans to apply to the Stanton Foundation to fund 100% of the design and 90% of the construction costs for the would-be Bedford dog park. The first step in this process is to acquire a letter of intent from the Town Manager. After the letter is signed, the Task Force has twelve months to secure a design for the park from a third-party organization, as per the rules of the Stanton Foundation.

Some members, including chairman Laurie Walsh, are eager to secure this milestone, arguing that it would show the Town’s commitment to the project. Others, however, are hesitant to rush a process that is still in relatively early stages. “I don’t want a dog park in 2017, I want a dog park,” said Dan Hurwitz. He went on: “You may call this defeatist thinking; I call it realistic.”

Notably, the Task Force has not yet confirmed a site for the park. They have, by process of elimination, narrowed the options from their original list down to Site C near Springs Brook Park, but are hoping to identify and explore other potential sites – ideally without abutters – before committing. They have thus far refrained from directly contacting potential abutters, as the location is still subject to change.

Selectman Caroline Fedele, who is liaison to the Task Force, suggested a compromise: the Task Force will present their progress at the Selectmen’s meeting on December 4, and use the Selectmen’s reaction to determine whether to apply for a letter of intent when the Selectmen reconvene on December 18. According to Fedele, the Selectmen may provide a “punch list” of goals for the Task Force to accomplish before the December 18 meeting in order to show an adequate level of preparedness.

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