October 3, 2022 Work Session
Mayor James M. Jaroszynski
Trustee Timothy Dunn
Trustee Alan Gustafson, Jr.
Trustee Anthony Cavallaro
Trustee Annette Miller
Cindy Capestrani, Village Clerk
The work session meeting of the Village of Falconer Mayor and Board of Trustees was held on Monday, October 3, 2022 at 6:00 P.M. at the Firemen’s’ Exempt Hall with Mayor James Jaroszynski presiding.
Pledge of Allegiance & Roll
Trustee Dunn, Trustee Gustafson, Trustee Miller, Trustee Cavallaro and Mayor Jaroszynski were present.
VISITORS ARE ALLOWED A MAXIMUM OF THREE (3) MINUTES TO ADDRESS THE CHAIR. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE OR TIME TO CONDUCT A DEBATE WITH ANYONE. IT IS A MEETING TO DELIBERATE AS THE MAYOR AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO TRANSACT THE BUSINESS OF THE VILLAGE. ALL REPORTS, REQUESTS, IF NECESSARY, WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE RESPECTIVE COMMITTEE OR COMMISSION FOR FURTHER STUDY, INFORMATION GATHERING AND RECOMMENDATIONS. ALL CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED HAS BEEN PLACED WITH THE TRUSTEES AND IS ON FILE.
Steve Garvey – 53 Almet Ave
Pat Bellardo – 53 Almet Ave
Lawrence Trask – 213 Clyde
Brenda Weiler – 200 E. Elmwood Ave
Glen Dickerson – 3 Kimball Ave
Nina Gustafson – Gerry, N
Andrew Sweet – 316 W. Work Street
Bobby Samuelson – 27 W. James
Tim Black – 80 Aldren Ave
Emily McVay – 3476 Sprague Hill
Larry Spangenburg – 32 Mapleshade Ave
Holly Hannon – 114 Richard Avenue
Steve & Mindy Trapani – 211 W. Mosher Street
Mayor Jaroszynski read the Parliamentary Procedures, reminded all visitors to sign in and opened the floor to anyone that wished to address the board.
Steve Garvey – a village resident and former village board member and parks commissioner for 16 years brought a newspaper article from 2001 regarding the horseshoe club that used to reside in the village park but was asked to leave. The club had loud speakers that were used for 50-50 drawings, many times past the curfew, and had events where they were selling beer which is prohibited in the park. He feels there is no place for a dog park in the village park or even in the village as they would all be near residences. There is a stand-alone dog park in Lakewood which is only 4.8 miles from Falconer. Some of the reasons he is against the dog park are the noise, smell, conflicts with owners and animals, close to village neighborhoods, and aggressive dogs. He appreciates what the Rotary has done in the past, along with the village to make Falconer Park what he feels is one of the best parks in the area and would like to keep it that way. He is asking the board to represent the village residents first, as the park is in a residential area.
Andrew Sweet – is in favor of the dog park along with others that he has spoken too. Having a young child, it would be more convenient to walk to the park versus having to drive 4.8 miles to the closest park. He feels that many of the issues that the park had with the horseshoe club, as stated by Mr. Garvey, would not be the case with a dog park. He stated that if there is a place in the park designated for the dogs, it will eliminate the people that currently let their dogs run loose in the park. In closing, he feels if the park is well regulated with strict rules and has volunteers to help, that it would be beneficial for the community.
Glen Dickerson – would like to know how close the dog park would be to the kids’ area. His main concern is for the safety of the children that are in the park, especially during the summer recreation program. He does not feel Falconer Park is big enough to have a dog park. He questioned if research was done to find out if any other dog parks have been put in a children’s park and if they have had any problems.
Larry Spangenburg – wants to know if questions can be asked after the presentation since they have not seen any of the plans. Also questioned if the dog park would be close to the kids that attend the summer recreation program and how high the fence would be. Feels that dogs can jump over a 4 feet fence and that should be considered as would be a liability to the village.
Trustee Miller was directed to start the power point presentation with Nina Gustafson, president of the Falconer Rotary Club speaking. About a year and a half ago, the Rotary Club started discussing what they wanted to do with money they had left in the park fund which was established over 20 years ago and has been used towards many park improvements over the years. They decided to research adding a dog park. They applied and were approved through Rotary International for a matching grant to put a dog park in the village park. The grant deadline for the park to be completed is April 2023.
Trustee Miller added that they looked at how the dog park would fit within the current comprehensive plan which states that the village would benefit from a wider variety of available recreation activities near its parkland. They are looking at other ways to enhance the park that would benefit the community in addition to the dog park.
A village survey was done asking the residents if they would be in favor of adding a dog park to the village park and out of 302 responses, 52% said yes the village should explore a dog park in the village park, 29% said yes to a dog park but in a different location, 14% were unsure and there were 16 singular narrative opinions.
Nina Gustafson stated that the Falconer Rotary is proposing that the dog park to be within Falconer Park .The site is a great family destination and has water, parking, and shade, all important features for a dog park. They looked at other dog parks in the area (Sherman, Dunkirk, Warren, Mayville, Lakewood) to make sure that all needs were met. The proposed area is left of the rec building, no exact dimensions have been determined yet but it will be similar in size to the Mayville dog park.
Key points that are being proposed for the dog park:
- Park will be fenced, with an added green buffer of shrubs or trees between the neighboring residences and the fence
- Separate area for big and small dogs
- A double gated entrance area
- Seating, possibly a Gazebo, waste disposal areas, water
- Annual memberships with a fee to be determined, which will help with the park upkeep
- Dogs must be licensed and have proof of vaccinations
- Members will get a badge or key fob for entrance
- Park will have strict rules posted with set hours
- Members will be terminated if rules and regulations are not adhered to
Mayor Jaroszynski reminded the group that before there is any final approval, they will have all of the size information, this is not a voting session, it is a work session for the board to hear from the residents and safety of the children in the park will also be considered in the decision. There will be further meetings and everyone is encouraged to attend them.
Tim Black, village resident and Rotarian, stood up to speak. Rotary Club back in 1999 started to take a larger role in the park. The Rotary Club has raised a lot of money and put in a lot of hard work over the years to help make the park a better place. The way to keep bad people out of the park is to have a constant supply of good people in the park. There is safety in numbers, busy parks deter bad people. Dogs are in our park now, not following rules, so let’s create a place for the dogs. There are pros and cons for the park, we are never going to have 100%, but we need to start moving forward. He is impressed with the plans, especially that they include memberships and key fobs, maybe explore a taller fence.
Trustee Dunn commented that the goal is to get opinions so we can compromise to make everyone, if we can, happy with the decision. He appreciates all information given to help understand what the challenges are for the dog park.
Steve Garvey questioned if the Lakewood police could be contacted to see what the incident report is with their dog park. Mayor Jaroszynski will follow up with Lakewood to get more information.
Larry Trask, village resident, can see the pros and cons. Questioned if there are any regulations on the size of a dog park. He feels that there is not enough room in the Falconer Park. Also there is water in the park, but he believes that the water line is not an active line to the rec building. He agrees with Glen on the height of the fence and that it needs to be higher. Feels if we can’t regulate rules we have at the park such as no smoking, how can we regulate rules in the future regarding the dog park. Thinks Falconer should have a dog park, not sure it belongs in the park.
Tim Black questioned if the village is more liable with dogs in the park versus have a contained area. Mayor Jaroszynski stated that Attorney Peterson can address this at our upcoming board meeting on October 11. Nina Gustafson said that the members of the dog park will be required to sign a waiver that they are assuming the responsibility for their dog.
Steve Trapani, village resident that has property connected to the park thinks it is a good idea. Feels the people within the dog park will police themselves making sure others clean up after their dog which is not happening now with the dogs that are brought into the park. He feels that bringing a dog park to the village park will not bring any more problems to the park that are not already there. Melinda Trapani, Steve’s wife commented that she has enjoyed living next to the park for over 15 years. It is nice to see people use the park, and it would be nice to have an area for dogs.
Mayor Jaroszynski read a letter that was sent by Ro Woodard, residing on N. Phetteplace that was unable to attend. He read some of her comments to be considered. The board thanks the residents for their opinions and they will be discussing the dog park at the next board meeting on Tuesday, October 11.
Trustee Dunn made a motion, seconded by Trustee Cavallaro to adjourn the meeting at 7:04 pm. Ayes-all. Motion carried.