With New City Council, is a Watertown Dog Park Back on the Table

With New City Council, is a Watertown Dog Park Back on the Table?

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"This has been 11 years as of March that we've been working on this. We're finishing it this year one way or another."

Scott "SG" Gates has been fighting to open a dog park in the city of Watertown for years. And this past year, the fight seemed to hit a standstill with no push forward from city officials. But now with a new city council, Gates is optimistic.

"It's very positive. It's wonderful," said Gates.

Gates specifically wants the park to be near the Gotham entrance of Thompson Park, a location council member Cody Horbacz and new member Ryan Henry-Wilkinson say they support.

"Not having a dog park and being able to accommodate those potential visitors and tourists, as well as our own families and residents, kind of disqualifies Watertown from a lot of potential tax revenue," said Henry-Wilkinson.

Council member Mark Walczyk supports bringing a dog park to the city, but wants to look at other locations. Newcomer Lisa Ruggiero feels the same way, but wants questions answered first.

"I'd like to know how the fund raising will be done. I'd like to know what the overall cost is expected to put this together," said Ruggiero.

"So long as there's going to be a private effort to fund this and they're just looking for cooperation from the city," said Henry-Wilkinson.

Gates says the Northern New York Community Foundation is accepting donations for a Watertown-area dog park.

Mayor Joe Butler does not support this idea. But with four members open to it, it's a matter of seeing if and when it could become a topic on the agenda again.

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