Further plans were heard by Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission, May 30th, for a proposed dog park.

HAWLEY - Further plans were heard by Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission, May 30th, for a proposed dog park.

Heather Genzlinger showed a rough sketch of the area, where she envisions local residents coming to allow their dogs to run free. There would be a larger space for big dogs and a separate section for small canines. Some benches and trash cans could be placed. The dog park would be set off by a chain link fence.

It was the fence, however, that could become an obstacle - not for the dogs but for the plan altogether.

She is suggesting that the dog park be placed in Riverside Park, in a currently under-utilized area between the Glass Row ball field and the parking area. As proposed, the fenced-in dog park would be approximately 160 feet long by 125 feet, and set back just over 15 feet from the driveway leading in off of Church Street. The fence would be at least five feet high and have exterior and interior gates. It would be set on the existing grassy area.

Elaine Herzog, who is both on Council and a Parks & Rec member, advised that the because Riverside Park is a flood plain, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) place restrictions on what can go in the area. Structures are prohibited, as well as other permanent objects that may be deemed a hazard should the flood levee not hold.

Council has conflicting, verbal comments from the Army Corps and DEP about fencing. Herzog said they really need it in writing, that a chain link fence would be allowed. Genzlinger was referred to Lou Cozza, who works for the Borough’s engineering firm Kiley Associates, to inquire.

She said, however, that she did not think anyone on the Borough was opposed to a dog park, and they realize the Riverside Park area is under-utilized.

Genzlinger stated that the dog park would be privately funded. It would be open to residents needing a place to let their dogs run, which is more of an issue for those living in town.

Lawn mower

Parks & Rec discussed the need to purchase a lawn mower. Road Master Rodger Smythe reported that the 11-year old riding mower is wearing out and advised it was not worth spending more money on it. He is using the commercial mower once a week to take care of Bingham and Riverside parks. The latter includes the flood levee. He said it takes him two and a half days “If everything is working.”
To get it going, he said, he has it “cobbled together with a hose clamp” and has installed several new parts.

Smythe presented three estimates for new machines. The cheapest and best, he said, was from Lindsey Equipment, Honesdale. It would cost the Borough $6,900 for a John Deere commercial mower, or with 0% financing, it would cost the Borough $7,800.

After much discussion, including the view that to finance a lawnmower would be “sad,” Parks & Rec agreed that the money was not in the budget to buy it outright. Instead, the financing option was favored, although there was a concern how long the price guarantee would last. Financing was based on four years.

Smythe expressed confidence he could get $1,000 for the old mower, which he said would be fine for private use (and not heavy duty). He said a smaller mower (non-commercial) would not hold up.
Three of the seven Council members were present (Herzog, Joseph Faubel and Michael Dougherty). A call was made to Council President Ann Monaghan, who also voted in favor of financing, albeit reluctantly. Calls would be made to the remaining Council members as well for their votes. Dougherty said he would ask the full Council about splitting the cost between the general fund and Parks & Rec account.

3 on 3 basketball

Dan Valenza asked for approval to hold another three on three basketball tournament this year. Parks & Rec backed it, and the first weekend of August was approved. Valenza said he had found a couple sponsors, and was expecting the event to grow. He stared the tournament last year, and raised $250 which was turned over to Parks & Rec.

He offered that the proceeds this year could go towards new lights for the court. Parks & Rec chairman James Shook suggested that they upgrade to LED lights. Valenza was advised to come back later in the summer when he knows how much money was raised, so that Parks & Rec can better be able to make plans.

Need more revenue

Going over the Parks & Rec budget, Faubel advised that Council should be asked for another increase in the tax millage that is set aside for borough parks and recreation. He noted that “costs keep coming up.”

They presently have $10,200 in cash reserves, which includes the maintenance fee paid from the Hawley Farmer’s Market. Last year at this time they had $12,500. One added expense this year was money for the new doors that were needed on the park restrooms. Parks & Rec has also agreed to providing funds for the Borough’s levee repair project.

Hawley’s tax is generated by borough residents, for their local parks. Palmyra Township (Wayne County) was acknowledged for their helpful, annual donation for Hawley’s parks. Residents of other nearby townships also make use of Hawley’s parks. The suggestion was made to ask these townships to consider a donation. Shook stated that there are nearby townships that could afford it.
Hawley Parks & Rec meets on the last Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Borough Hall.