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Town of North Hempstead plans to spend $250G on new dog park

Thor and his owner Sybil Mendelsohn of Merrick,

Thor and his owner Sybil Mendelsohn of Merrick, both left, and Mac and his owner Martha Yako of Baldwin cool off at the Newbridge Road Dog Park in Bellmore in September. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Town of North Hempstead wants to build a new dog park but hasn’t decided where it will go, how big it will be or how soon it will open.

What they have determined is what it will cost and have set aside $250,000 in the town’s 2018 capital plan to fund construction.

Town officials held a public meeting last week at Michael J. Tully Park in New Hyde Park hoping to get suggestions from pet owners. Parks Commissioner Jill Weber told a small group of residents that the dog park will probably be at Tully Park, enclosed with a fence and be divided into spaces for small and large dogs.

“We’d like to try to move on this quickly,” Weber said.

At the Oct. 25 meeting, pet owners asked how tall the fence would be, what hours the park would be open and whether the ground would be natural grass or synthetic turf.

Weber said the dog park would be open during the same hours as the park it will be located in. She also said the town is considering at least a 6-foot fence with synthetic turf underfoot.

There are two places where the dog park could go in Tully Park, Weber told the group. One spot is at the farthest back end of the property, where many mosquitoes congregate at dusk during the summer. Another spot is much smaller but is a few steps away from the park’s recreation facility.

One dog owner said she preferred the larger space.

“If there’s a substantial size difference, I think people would rather spray themselves with mosquito repellent and put up with it for an hour than to be confined to a tiny area,” said New Hyde Park resident Christine Laubis, who has a Rottweiler-Doberman mix named Casey.

Mineola resident Kathy Turner, who owns a Yorkie-Maltese mix named Russell, said the ideal dog park would look something like the one at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore.

In 2016, the town opened dog runs at Tully, Mary J. Davies and North Hempstead Beach parks. Dogs are welcome at all three but must be kept on a leash. In the proposed park, pets will be able to roam free.

Steve Pollack, the town’s governmental research director who is leading the town’s dog park effort, said The Shelter Connection, a Port Washington-based volunteer dog adoption organization, has donated play equipment.

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