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Dog Park Location Determined; Possible Funding to be Determined

Possible location scouted out this week for an off-leash dog park at Van Saun Park

A petition that garnered over 200 signatures in favor of an  in  recently reached Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan's desk and after a recent review of the Park, awaits word if County funding is available.

"I met with Bergen County Executive Donavan on Monday and hand delivered the Proposal including the Petition, Resolutions from River Edge, Oradel, Paramus and photos, of various locations," River Edge Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo said.

Moscaritolo recently met with Bergen County Director of Park, Ronald Kistner to locate a suitable location, away from the Zoo and pond with adequate buffers.

"There is one suitable location," Moscaritolo said. "A water spigot is close by but not operational. The County will have to see if it has sufficient funds to move forward with a design."

He added that the County should have a final answer in a few weeks if funding is available for the project.

Moscaritolo began after John Fugazzie initiated the idea a year ago; Fugazzie later had to step away from the proposal to focus on Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Recently New Milford pass a resolution supporting the dog park as well, according to New Milford Councilwoman Hedy Grant. 

Fugazzie had estimated that the off-leash dog park could cost $60,000 to cover the placement of fencing, wood chips and signage but proposed that it could be funded by donations or sponsorships rather than taxpayers dollars.

Facebook group currently exists for residents to discuss where they currently bring their dogs to as well as how to best organize moving the idea forward.

Currently Bergen County residents can take their four-legged family members to dog parks in Ridgewood, Leonia, Lyndhurst and Woodcliff Lake.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Eamon Harbord at Eamon.Harbord@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Michael Barry May 30, 2012 at 02:17 PM
As a dog lover with two German Shepherds, I have to wonder if Mayor Moscaritolo of River Edge has taken leave of his senses? He wants to fund an "off leash doggy park" inside Van Saun park and is now searching for funding. Is this a priority in a recession? Moscaritolo seems to ignore the fact that our economy is in recession with real unepmployment at 11.5%, national debt at 15.7 trillion ($138,532 for every taxpayer) municipal revenue in decline, tax rates rising and this glittering jewel of colossal ignorance thinks it's time to spend precious tax dollars on a doggy park! Only a politician who thinks like Obama would be that out of touch. How about putting the dog park on the back burner and reserve any available funds to lessen the tax burden on those of us who are working 60 plus hours per week to keep from getting submerged in debt!
Carmine DeMarco May 31, 2012 at 02:06 AM
That's an awfully small number of signatures for a petition, particularly for a movement that's been going on for over a year now. I think the issue demands much more in-depth analysis of the potential impact, desirability, etc. Probably best to have a public referendum on the ballot to get the input of all Bergen County residents - after all, the park belongs to everyone, not just dog fanciers.
Carmine DeMarco May 31, 2012 at 03:05 AM
There is an anti-Van Saun dog park group on Facebook, that within an hour of its creation already had well over 100 members, whereas the pro-dog park group linked in the above article has only 133 after this movement being around for over a year.
Eamon Harbord (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Carmine, Can you share the link for the anti-Van Saun dog park Facebook group? I tried searching for it, but I can't seem to be having any luck.
Carmine DeMarco May 31, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Eamon, that group is at http://www.facebook.com/groups/183848491740627/. As of 11:35AM today, it has 159 members.
Eamon Harbord (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Thanks Carmine.
Eamon Harbord (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Mary, Please refrain from making any personal remarks about other commenters otherwise you will be in breach of the Patch Terms of Service that you agreed to upon creating your account. You may not agree with Carmine's Facebook group or his posting about it on this article, but that is his right as a Patch user.
Carmine DeMarco May 31, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Eamon, have you seen that, in the version of your article appearing on the New Milford Patch, Ann has posted a poll? Although it states that it is "not a scientific poll", if its numbers were representative of Bergen County residents, it's currently running 77% against a dog park and only 22% in favor.
Eamon Harbord (Editor) May 31, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I did see that Carmine. It will definitely be interesting to see how the proposed dog park progresses especially if the County doesn't have any funding available. That is the key to this whole project.
Carl Jelon May 31, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I'm a little surprised by the opposition to the idea, which is long overdue. Van Saun is big enough to accommodate a dog run; it's a logical place for one. The one in Ridgewood is very popular, and a great addition to the Duck Pond area. 60K doesn't sound that unreasonable. When a consultant or an architect asks for several $100K's from the county or the local towns, nobody seems to blink, so why the big fuss over this, which will actually result in a facility that residents (and their pets) will get lots of enjoyment from.
Carmine DeMarco May 31, 2012 at 08:32 PM
How do you mean?

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