Council Seeks Clarification On Allowance of Dogs In Parks

By FRED T. ROSSI
For Union County HAWK

FANWOOD – The borough council will seek clarification in whether the recently-enacted ordinance permitting dogs in parks applies to public events such as movie night at LaGrande Park.

At the council’s agenda meeting on Monday evening, Councilwoman Patricia Walsh said there were dogs at last week’s movie night and inquired whether the ordinance passed last month allows dogs at such events. A section of that ordinance states: “Dogs shall not be permitted on the sports courts, skateboard area, sports rink, sports playing fields, or within the children’s playground area within the public parks.” The field where the movies are shown at LaGrande Park is part of the baseball field, and Mrs. Walsh said it didn’t seem to her that dogs are allowed. Councilwoman Erin McElroy-Barker said the movies are a public event and said she doesn’t see the ordinance disallowing dogs. Clarification from the recreation commission and other borough officials will be sought.

Mrs. Walsh also said that signs are being made that will be posted in LaGrande Park, Forest Road Park and Carriage House Park and set out the rules for owners and their dogs. Also planned are stations with plastic bags for owners to use for their dogs’ waste. Donations are being sought for this expense since, according to borough administrator Rayna Harris, it was not budgeted for this year. Mayor Colleen Mahr said she has been in touch with some local businesses seeking their financial assistance.

Chief Financial Officer Patricia Celardo said that, with the tax rates now established, property tax bills are being printed this week and will be mailed to property owners within the next two weeks, adding that there will be a 25-day grace period for payment of the first installment. Borough engineer Antonios Panagopoulos said the borough has gone out to bid for the new library and that bids are being requested for roadwork including segments of Tillotson Road and Glenwood Road and the entire length of Rainier Road along with some miscellaneous work elsewhere in town.

The council approved two resolutions authorizing grant applications from the county. One is for funding from the county’s Kids Recreation Trust Fund that will be matched by Fanwood and be used for playground upgrades and new equipment at LaGrande Park. The other will seek funding for tree plantings from the Greening Union County program.

At its regular meeting on August 15, the council will renew the contract of police director Michael Bramhall, who is completing his first year in that position “much to the satisfaction of us all,” said Councilwoman Walsh. She said that, under Mr. Bramhall, “the department is in good hands.” The council will also authorize the public works department to hire an operator-laborer. And the governing body is expected to award a contract not to exceed $2,800 to Renaissance Security for an alarm monitoring agreement in which the firm will monitor fire alarms in all borough buildings.

Mayor Mahr said the borough, at the suggestion of resident Andrew MacDonald, would send a letter to long-time fire department volunteer and first assistant chief David Zawodniak expressing the town’s “sincere gratitude” for his many years of service.

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