Riverside land eyed for dog park; officials concerned about noise

MILFORD – Town-owned land between the Souhegan River and Souhegan Street is being considered for a dog park, but the non-profit organization planning the park should talk to the site’s neighbors, selectmen said.

At the board’s Monday night meeting, Kierstyn Williamson, president of the Milford Dog Park Association, asked for a letter of approval to be included in a grant application.

Board members, however, said they are concerned about noise.

And Dale White, of Leighton White, Inc., told selectmen that he is “not 100 percent for it,” because of traffic, and because no one has spoken to the neighbors yet. The company has a facility near the site where it has been for 41 years, in the building where Milford Light & Power, and then Public Service of New Hampshire, was once located.

“I really respect the neighbors allowing us” to be there and have 49 vehicles going in and out, White said.

The site is about eight acres and the dog park needs about three-quarters of an acre.

The dog park group intends to build the park using donations, with some help from Milford DPW, and it has considered 10 sites in all, prioritized on the basis of their proximity to businesses, residential neighborhoods and town facilities and access to downtown parking.

Last year, the 12 acres behind the Brookstone Manor apartments off Elm Street was named the top choice, but now that property is being sold, said community development Director Lincoln Daley

Town-owned property off Perry Road was also on the list but considered remote and very vehicle-dependent.

The Souhegan Street site is accessible from a foot path leading from the Swing Bridge, and it also has vehicle access off the street.

Daley said they would preserve as many trees as possible, and the exact location and design hasn’t been looked at yet. They will be very conscious of the neighbors, he said, but “there will be noise.”

Board members were also concerned about flooding, and Daley said the park would be as far away from the water as possible and it is not rare for a dog park in New Hampshire to be near a river.

Selectman Mike Putnam noted the area is notorious for young people gathering to use drugs and alcohol.