Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let's Build a Dog Park

In April 2007, the City held a public meeting to talk about what to do with the brownfield site that was once Foster's Refrigeration, on North Second and Dock streets. According to reports, "about 2,600 cubic yards of lead-contaminated subsurface soil and 100 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil" had been found at the site, and remediation would cost more than $1 million. Five years later, Mayor William Hallenbeck has an idea for how to use the site: make it a dog park. The transformation would involve cleaning the entire area and bringing in new topsoil--capping the site rather than remediating it. 

Dog park advocates Sarah Sterling and Robert Rasner are enthusiastic about the possibility. Rasner enumerated the advantages of the site for Gossips.
  • It is several thousand square feet and is already surrounded by a fairly new six-foot chain link fence. 
  • In its present condition, it is an eyesore and a blight, and any use that would clean it up would be welcome.
  • There is ample space to create separate areas for large dogs and small dogs.
  • It is large enough to ensure that dogs can exercise there and not just use it to relieve themselves.
  • The site is not located in a high-density residential area where neighbors might be disturbed by barking dogs.
  • There is ample room for parking.
  • It is near an area--the capped former county landfill--where some people already go to exercise their dogs off leash.
  • The site has an existing water supply.
If the site is to be a dog park, however, much work lies ahead. Jim Bent, who demolished two of the three Hudson River Knitting Mill buildings on North Front Street in 2009, reportedly started demolishing the buildings on the Foster's site but left the job unfinished. A significant amount of demolition work remains to be done, and enormous amounts of debris need to be removed from the site. "If these challenges can be met successfully," says Rasner, "we have the opportunity to have a first-class off-leash park for the use of residents and visitors." He anticipates the result will be "happier residents and their dogs, as well as a cleaner city."  

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a dog but does topped off lead contaminated soil instill confidence?