HAWLEY - The upcoming Hawley Dog Park and trail signs were further discussed by the Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission, August 27.
Pending issuance of the fence and sign permits, the Hawley Dog Park committee is set to begin construction, Heather Genzlinger stated. This is expected to begin in September.
The area set aside for pet dogs to run free is in Riverside Park, between the flood levee and the railroad, on the east of the Glass Row ball field. Access will be available from Church Street. The area is 280 by 130 feet, and will contain a small, inner enclosure for smaller dogs. There will be one gated exterior entrance, which leads to inner gates for the small dog area and the section for larger canines. A five-foot high, chain link fence, inner perimeter gravel walkway and blue stone benches are included. There’s also a pavilion offering shade, shared by both dog areas.
Also needed is a set of rules, posted so dog handlers can read and take heed.
Although Genzlinger and her friend Sue Currier, who is working on the park with her, brought their own set of proposed rules, the borough’s insurance carrier provided its own. Meshing these created a lengthy discussion.
Ann Monaghan, Council President attended the Parks & Rec meeting. She took note that the insurance carrier’s three pages of dog park regulations are more restrictive than what the Dog Park Committee submitted. In other ways they are similar; the committee had sought to model the park after researching what other communities have adopted.
The insurance carrier calls for a lock and key on the gate, and permits issued to use the park.
“We wanted it to be a public park,” Currier said.  Parks & Rec member Jim Shook said that these rules from the carrier sound like what may be based for private communities.
Monaghan asked that it be verified if the insurance carrier’s rules were “suggestions,” or mandatory.  Parks & Rec member/ Council member Joseph Faubel advised that the borough can always seek an insurance policy from another company for the dog park rather than rely on the borough’s carrier.
Among the many considerations in developing Dog Park regulations are what to do about “dogs in heat,” how many dogs may be brought and age limits of children. Parks & Rec member Michael Dougherty questioned liability if dogs in the park got into a fight. Cleaning up after your dog and open hours are also considered.
Michael Dougherty, who is blind and uses a “seeing-eye” dog, Mack, noted that people in his situation would not be able to read the posted rules.
Mayor Kevin Hawk, who is also on Parks & Rec, suggested submitted the Dog Park committee’s proposed set of rules to the borough’s carrier and see what they say.
Monaghan said to have the borough secretary/treasurer pass it on to the carrier, in hopes to have a response for the September 11th Council meeting.
The park is completely funded, Heather stated. She also reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sent their approval in writing. DEP’s OK was needed since the park is within a flood plain.