News

Merrimack Dog Park finds new home at Wasserman Park

Friday, December 14, 2012

By ERIN PLACE

Staff Writer

After a months of discussion, Merrimack’s dog park now has a home in Wasserman Park.

The location of the future dog park became official at the Town Council’s regular meeting held Dec. 6. The dog park will be housed at the south end of the park, next to the nonresidential parking lot, Chairman Tom Mahon said.

The original plan from the town’s Dog Park Subcommittee was for local furry canines to play and let off some steam in Watson Park, in the center of town on Daniel Webster Highway. But the location came under scrutiny by members of the Town Council during an October meeting.

Councilors Dan Dwyer and Bill Boyd wondered if this was the best site for the dog park and asked the subcommittee to take a look at other spots. Counselors visited Wasserman Park on Nov. 14 with the Dog Park Subcommittee. After the joint tour, everyone agreed that Wasserman Park, not Watson, was the place for the dog park.

“I know me and my fellow Councilor Bill kind of put a damper on a lot of people when it got changed so fast. I really want to thank you again for reacting so fast and you looked at several other sites and you came up with what I believe is the best site in town,” Dwyer said to the subcommittee. “I think this is going to enhance it in the next year or two. Wasserman Park is just going to be a better place for it.”

One of the perks of the Wasserman Park site
includes a safer location away from the road with plenty of tree buffers. There are also public rest rooms at the park, along with water spigots and oftentimes town employees are on site.

Boyd said he supports the proposed lighting addition to Wasserman Park, which will also benefit those using the football and baseball fields at night.

Town Manager Eileen Cabanel said this includes two additional lights from Public Service of New Hampshire with an estimated price tag of $1,400 for the pair.

To run the lights all night, it would cost the town $24 a month. To have them operating until midnight, it would be $21 a month, she said.

The Town Council didn’t take any action on the proposed lighting at its Dec. 6 meeting.

Boyd said he likes that people using the dog park will be able to walk across the trail to the 563-acre Horse Head Hill Preserve.

“This Council, from a policy perspective, has really tried to find ways to make Wasserman Park a much more viable place to congregate and recreate in the community.

“I think we’re beginning to put flesh on the bones of this by moving the dog park to this particular location,” he said. “I really want to thank Sherry (Kalish) and Parks and Rec Committee for going back and taking a second look at this and making this site not just making it work, but making it a viable site for the community. ... We’re making an existing jewel even brighter.”

The goal is for the dog park to open by next summer. The dog park is largely being paid for through fundraisers. The subcommittee recently accepted a $500 check from the Professional Firefighters of Merrimack union.

Anyone wishing to make a donation for the Merrimack Dog Park can do so by sending checks made payable to the Town of Merrimack, and mailed to the Parks and Recreation Department, 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack, NH 03054. Be sure to include Dog Park on the check’s memo line.

Erin Place can be reached at 594-6589 or eplace@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Place on Twitter (@Telegraph_
ErinP).

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