Village residents petition for dog park


VOORHEESVILLE — Residents may finally be ready to install a dog park in the village limits, but the board may not be ready to fund one.

Resident Dennis Ulion collected nearly 100 signatures to present to the village board at its workshop last week.

“I didn't over exert myself,” Ulion said. “We’re over 100 people.”

Ulion, a Scotch Pine neighborhood resident, said that he has visited the parks in Bethlehem and Guilderland. Both are town facilities, he said.

“I don't even own a dog,” he said. “I have two granddogs that I babysit everyday.”

Ulion said that a dog park should have at least an acre of fenced property, part of which could be wooded. He suggested a standard four-foot chain-link fence.

At the regular village board meeting, Superintendent of Public Works Will Smith asked the board the cost for fencing one acre.

“Big money. A lot of money. Tons,” said board member David Cardona, the budget officer. A 200-by-200-foot area would cost “huge money that we don’t have,” Cardona said. “Tons!”

Ulion said at the workshop that some dog parks use a pit-toilet, which he described as a latrine dug into the ground into which dog waste is thrown. Some parks also provide biodegradable litterbags, he said.

He suggested an area on Voorheesville Avenue, but left the location of a park open.

Smith said at the meeting that Voorheesville Avenue is in the village’s water protection zone, and that he would look into requirements for other areas.

Ulion told The Enterprise that he does not have a time in mind for completion of a dog park.

“I don’t want the board to rush into it,” he said. He wants board members to take their time “so they’re positive they can do a good job,” he said.

Ulion said he wants “the village to establish the park and maintain it for us residents as they do with other parks.”

If the board cannot support his proposal, he said, he wants the board to “push it up the line to the town.”

He said that, in his neighborhood, half of the homes have dogs.

“Most of the people try very hard to maintain village laws” by keeping their dogs under control, he said. “The dogs need a place to run off leash — longer distances.”

Ulion said that there is ample support for a dog park in the village.

“A park of this nature needs to have rules and regulations…so everyone has a good time there and the park continues to be maintained properly,” he said. “This could be a really nice thing to offer to the town [residents], and I think it would be utilized.”

Other business

In other business, the village board:

— Agreed to pre-pay $189,600 toward the fire department’s new truck, to save $7,000;

— Learned from Cardona that the budgets for most departments will remain the same next year, but that public works may be “a tad difficult,” he said. The budget may include a 2-percent tax increase of $9,000, he said. Health insurance and retirement will increase by almost $10,000, he said;

— Agreed to allow a Saturday shoot at the Rod and Gun Club for a breast cancer awareness event on May 12 from noon to 6 p.m.;

— Heard from Deputy Clerk Treasurer Karen Finnessey that a hazardous waste collection day will be held at the New Scotland town garage on New Scotland Road on May 5. Residents can get tickets for the collection at the village or town halls. The collection will run from 8 a.m. to noon.

The collection will cost the village $10,000, she said. A Department of Environmental Conservation grant to reimburse half the cost is available but would be paid next year, she said.

“We have to provide our residents a way to get rid of their hazardous waste,” Finnessey said, referring to paint, fertilizers, and aerosol cans;

— Approved two change orders for the sewer work on Maple Avenue, for a total of $15,000; and

— Heard from Clerk-Treasurer Linda Pasquali that artistically painted benches will be auctioned at the Sitting Pretty Seats for Scholars auction March 24 at 7 p.m. to benefit the local Dollars for Scholars organization. Tickets are available at Village Hall, Pasquali said.

—

More New Scotland News

  • At its April 13 meeting, the Voorheesville Planning Commission heard not one but two presentations from area entrepreneurs looking to open restaurants in the village — one a craft brewery and restaurant; the other, an eatery that has yet to be determined. 

  • Due to increases in expected sales-tax revenue in 2021-22 and a new very favorable waste-services contract, the village of Voorheesville will not have to tap its rainy-day fund for much money to close its budget gap for next year. 

  • Azam Khan and Marielle McKasty-Stagg are seeking a position as library trustee in Voorh

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.