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Ocean City Dog Park Details Surface
OCEAN CITY - A proposed park aimed at keeping residents' four-legged friends in shape and offering a place for their owners to share their love of their furry companions continues to be developed as early plans for a dog park were revealed this week.
At the Recreation and Parks Committee meeting Tuesday at Northside Park, Recreation and Parks Director Tom Shuster presented fellow members with a rough blueprint of the park along with some other information currently being developed such as techniques planned to gain access as well as a preview of some of the rules and regulations to be followed. The presentation offered the members a chance to discuss some of the inner workings of the park.
The Ocean City Dog Enclosure, renamed from the Little Salisbury Dog Enclosure during the meeting, is planned to inhabit a rectangular plot of land along 94th Street just behind the existing tennis courts and children's playground.
Costing the town approximately $42,000, the park would be used on a dusk till dawn basis, meaning usage would be limited to daylight hours only. According to Shuster, who looked at other parks similar in nature in neighboring cities, inside the proposed six-foot-gated enclosure would be two different areas, one for little dogs weighing 28 pounds or less, and one for larger dogs weighing more than 28 pounds.
Users with small dogs would not be required to use the designated area for their smaller pups, but it would be available for owners who are unsure of how their companions would react to fellow canines.
As proposed, users would enter through a gate where they would find themselves in a small, gated area, Shuster said. Here is where the entrances to the two separate areas would be located, each with an electronic scanning device that would check an identification card to make sure the user is registered and has paid their fees. As of now, there are two types of registration. One is an annual fee aimed at local dog owners and the second would be for weekly visitors and have a limit of seven or 10 days. How much the fees would end up being will not be chosen until the project is closer to completion, Shuster said.
The electronic scanning devices would also be on a timer, restricting access during off-times. It would also be able to tell if users have paid their annual fee or if their card has expired, also restricting their entry if these requirements are not met. However, instead of having two separate scanners, committee member Joe Mitrecic suggested Shuster amend the plans to only have one at the initial entrance to reduce costs.
Shuster agreed with the idea and continued, saying once access is granted, the dogs may then be unleashed and the owners are invited to use a shelter or pavilion that would straddle the fence separating the two sides, allowing owners to socialize with each other while supervising their dogs. Benches and picnic tables would also be placed in different areas to encourage social interaction among both owners and their pets.
Dogs have a tendency to get dirty when they play and having an entire grass area to romp around in may make things even messier, especially if the ground is damp. Photographs of other parks Shuster looked into showed some using a pea gravel to fill in the enclosure, making cleanup and maintenance easier and eliminating mud puddles and dirt patches altogether. However, committee members decided to wait on the pea gravel to see how well the park fares in its first year.A set of rules has been compiled as well, some of which include discouraging your dog from digging holes, not allowing children under the age of 18 to enter unless supervised by an adult, prohibiting any person from bringing more than two dogs, mandating owners to clean up after their dogs and not allowing aggressive dogs are just a few examples.