Will Ventnor get a much needed dog park? A group looking to fund & start a place for dogs to run safely, sent the following email to Ventnor Commissioners, Lance Landgraf; Tim Kriebel and Beth Holtzman.
This email is to solicit formal information about the availability of a tract of public land for purposes of creating a dog park, the capital fundraising for which would be undertaken through private philanthropy.
Over the past several months, my informal inquiries of the mayor via text message were producing various and sundry mixed signals, towit:
That there were still ongoing negotiations impacting Lafayette Park such that it might not be available (title to the land was the only item mentioned at that time);
That perhaps the dog park supporters should investigate Ski Beach; and, After a group of us took a look at Ski Beach and checked for certain utility availabilities and determined that we could use the grassy area, after all, to design a functional dog park, this information was informally relayed.
After Ventnor had abrogated whatever its relationship with Amanda Thomas and Boardwalk Entertsinment had been — but Amazing Ventnor had also staged some sunset celebrations at that location – I inquired if Ski Beach might be available or whether the mayor anticipated that an open field of grass was something anticipated for future needs such that the dog park, because it would erect fencing around the grassy tract, might now be off the drawing boards for that location. I was told that such future events were, indeed, anticipated at Ski Beach.
If there is no public land available for a dog park, which the supporters anticipate would be maintained not by Ventnor PW but through user fees and private contractors, please so advise.
In my text exchanges with the mayor, I had noted that October 31 is the deadline when City of Ventnor’s receptivity to a dog park AND posture on where it would be located vis-a-vis seeking and likely obtaining a certain grant of $50,000 toward the cost of creating a park. News reports that the city is now in negotiation with NPS and DEP to change the designation of the Lafayette Park tract of land — from active rec to passive — had suggested that the current Commission envisions other uses for that tract. And that a dog park is no longer on your radar.
Back in May, on the same date that Ski Beach got its walk-around, the group investigated Titus field and found no area of sufficient size that wasn’t already dedicated to a specific sports activity.
The mayor, when asked if the dog park supporters should be told that Ventnor is averse to making any public tract of land available for purposes of creating a dog park, advised that she would check with the other two commissioners and get back to me. That has not happened.
We are all grown-ups. If the answer is NO, please so state and we won’t waste our time in exploring public tracts any further.
Thank you, in advance, for your response which would be reflective of all of the current Commission’s thinking.
Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman Response:
Based on residents being negligent in having their (dogs) properly licensed, is a huge concern. That being said, the majority of dog owners do not follow city ordinance. My question how will they keep a park properly maintained ? The city had (has) very limited land and before I would consider giving land for a dog park, I think our youth need to have recreational venues first.
Ventnor Commissioner Tim Kriebel Response:
I personally would not support a dog park at Lafayette Ave Park or Ski beach. I would have to be convinced by your group that the funding mechanisms were ironclad and the plan was designed before even considering my support of using any public land.
Ventnor has some of the most Dog friendly ordinances on our coast. So without a sustainable financial and practical plan to discuss sustaining a dog park long term that was not a burden to taxpayers….I would be a no.