DOG PARK PLAN WAITS FOR UPDATED AGREEMENT

Fenced park would be between athletic fields and Cromwell Brook

BAR HARBOR—The Parks and Recreation Commission required a few more tweaks to a potential memorandum of agreement between the town and supporters of a dog park at the town’s athletic fields off Park Street

The plan to construct a fenced-in park for canines in a spot between the basketball court and Cromwell Brook was recommended by the committee back in March. The plan has both supporters and detractors. One of those detractors has been Joy Hanscom. Her family owns Cromwell Harbor Motel. The motel is close to the proposed site.  An original proposal at Glen Mary Woods was rejected after multiple neighbors objected.

A three-members strong Parks and Recreation Committee met December 5 in Council Chambers for a regular meeting. Jeff Dobbs and Desiree Sirois had excused absences. Chair John Kelly, Vice Chair Greg Velliux and YMCA representative Bob Huff attended.

More than double that number were members of the public who attended the meeting. For one woman it was the first time she’d been in the council chambers where the meeting was held though she was a lifelong resident. There was no public comment during the open public comment period of the meeting. There was also no public comment for the dog park proposal during that discussion. There were no supporters of the park present.

One of the concerns about the updated potential memorandum was that Friends of Bar Harbor Dog Park is not a legal entity. If they aren’t a legal entity, Kelly wondered, can they enter an agreement. Who is doing the contracting for construction, he asked, and who is contracting the structures’ planning and design and construction.

Acadia Youth Sports (AYS) also works with the town and has constructed and maintained different aspects of the field off Park Street. However, AYS is a nonprofit and legal entity. It fundraises throughout the year for projects and then spends the money at the site.

Eventually, a tweaked memorandum of understanding would be signed by Town Manager Kevin Sutherland. Public Works Director Bethany Leavitt will take the changes recommended by the committee at its Monday meeting and revise the document and present it again.

Looking for a dog park? Photo: Carrie Jones

LINKS TO LEARN MORE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3192048477784521

https://www.barharbormaine.gov/289/Parks-Recreation

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