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July 17, 2011

GROUP SEEKS PLACE FOR DOGS

Officials get involved with proposed Ashtabula park

ASHTABULA —  

The site of a proposed dog park was announced Friday afternoon during a meeting with more than 40 people interested in creating a place to walk and run with, their pooches.
“I think I have some good news for you,” said Richard Quaranta, a member of the Ashtabula Parks and Recreation Board, before announcing the board’s intent to recommend Smith Field as the site of the new park.
Quaranta emphasized that the idea is in its early stages and must go through a “process,” which likely would include a public hearing. He said the park could be built on a football field that no longer is needed, at the west end of Smith Field, adjacent to the present walking trail.
The interest in a dog park has bloomed recently, and Marie Kane scheduled Friday’s meeting to look into the possibility.
In addition to Quaranta, City Councilwoman Ann Stranman and State Rep. Casey Kozlowski attended the meeting, along with Lucianna Patete Ratermann, an executive assistant for Ashtabula City Manager Anthony Cantagallo.
Numerous dog owners vented their frustrations with having no place to walk, or run, their animals in Ashtabula County.
“I take my dog an hour and 20 minutes to Mosquito Lake. It is just great. It is beautiful. It is a nice facility,” said Marcia Vandervort. She said she has talked with a variety of officials in Geneva and Harpersfield Township. She is seeking a place for a park but has not been successful.
“I’m kind of at my wits’ end,” she said.
Several dog owners explained how dog parks in other areas of the country are constructed.
“It is a field that is fenced in so the dogs can’t get out,” said Brian Kane, who opened the meeting.
Quaranta said the committee looked a several sites for the proposed park but feels Smith Field would be the best site. He also urged the people at the meeting to form an association to show city council there is support for the project and to help make the project happen.

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