When came before the North Branford Town Council with North Branford Unleashed!’s , council members still had a number of questions, mostly centering on the cost of the park and how funds would be raised.
“That so some of the details hadn’t been worked out,” said Hodgson. “We didn’t have a location so we couldn’t determine our costs.”
One of the possible locations for the proposed dog park is on the, which is currently being renovated to due to the . Fran Merola, the town’s director, was able to give Hodgson and other members of the group a look at the property.
“Fran took us off-roading in his truck to show us where it could be,” said Hodgson.
After touring the property, North Branford Unleashed! was able to put together estimates for different parts of the park, including fencing, gates, etc., estimating a cost of $25,000 for the completed project. (See the proposed plan in the attached PDF)
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“We could do it in stages, though, to get things moving,” said Hodgson. “And what if we don’t raise enough? If we don’t have enough money two years from the time we get approval, the money collected will be donated to a dog-related cause. We would just like permission to start fundraising with the understanding that it’s still a formal process.”
Council member Vin Caprio, who noted his dog would enjoy the dog park, asked Merola about the park’s upkeep with Merola saying there would be no daily upkeep, but only laying down mulch once a year. Merola also said that whether or not the dog park would move ahead, he would still have to at some point.
“Anything I do there is part of park development,” said Merola. “If there’s time, we go and do it. It’s not a priority.”
Joanne Wentworth presented a motion to grant the group permission to go ahead with the fundraising, saying “hopefully you’ll get to $25,000.” The Town Council unanimously approved the motion.
North Branford Unleashed! plans to have a booth at the to kick off its fundraising efforts.
“If the citizens of the town are willing to raise $25,000 for something most towns around us have, that’d be great for our town,” said Hodgson. “Our first goal is $10,000 so if we get there, it’ll show we’re committed and it’s time to get our butts in gear.”