Community Preservation Committee requests money for dog park, land purchases

By Lydia Goerner | Aug 29, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner The Community Preservation Committee explains the funds various groups have requested.

The Community Preservation Committee of Wareham made several funding requests during Tuesday’s Selectmen meeting, including for use on affordable housing and a new dog park.

Sandra Slavin, co-chair of the Community Preservation Committee, discussed a few requests for funds, which will be voted on when all Selectmen are present. The Town Hall auditorium needs $120,000 to repair the leaking rubber roof, which must be fixed before the interior of the building can be worked on. The town submitted the request for this money.

“It’s a beautiful building; I graduated from high school there and I’d like to see it used again,” Slavin said.

Another request was for the Latham Center’s affordable housing project. The organization requested $100,000 for a new building, which will be located at 165 Great Neck Road. This four-bedroom house will be designed for people with disabilities.

The Wareham Land Trust wishes to purchase Stoney Run, a plot of land on Main Street, and requested $91,500 from the Community Preservation Committee for this purchase. The Land Trust would purchase the land for preservation purposes, Slavin said.

A request was also submitted for $20,000 for a new dog park in Wareham. Joshua Crabb, a volunteer with the non-profit DPAW (Dog Park Affiliates of Wareham), represented the group at the meeting. The town-owned plot of just over an acre off Maple Springs Road has been selected as the spot for the park. The $20,000 requested will show the town is invested in having a dog park and could make it easier to obtain a grant for remaining $180,000 that will be requested from The Stanton Foundation.

“Maybe the dogs will no longer be on the beaches and in the cemetery,” Slavin said.

Crabb said DPAW plans to maintain the dog park through fundraising.

Slavin said the CPC has a fund balance of $938,000 as of the end of the fiscal year. The committee requested that $62,315 of money that was unused for a previous project be returned to them. This request can be approved at the next Town Meeting.

Chair Peter Teitelbaum said the Board of Selectmen plans to vote on these requests next week when all Selectmen are present.

Comments (23)
Posted by: Rosebud | Aug 30, 2017 08:31

I seriously doubt that people will drive to this dog park--especially from Swift's Beach area--to walk their dogs.  They will continue to ignore signs and use our beaches.  And they will walk to our beaches on the deplorable roads we have that literally DIP in the middle, like Wankiquoah.



Posted by: bob | Aug 30, 2017 08:59

Use CPA Funds for something that most residents and tourist can use,like our beaches,use CPA FUNDS to dredge the Wareham River and use the sand to restore the Town Own  Beaches along the river..Swifts Neck,Swifts Beach....And if there is any sand left over, maybe they could  temporary  use it to fill the deplorable sink holes in those areas....Instead of hearing that the town has no money.....



Posted by: Rosebud | Aug 30, 2017 09:21

Bob, you are right.  Our beaches should take priority.  For many years now Swift's Beach and others have been neglected.  Our beaches deserve the utmost priority before they "go to the dogs."



Posted by: cranky pants | Aug 30, 2017 11:34

So what happens to the money for the dog park if the $180K grant falls through ?



Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Aug 30, 2017 11:36

No map or description accompanied the article so I may not be looking at the right area.  Is Stoney Run located between Tremont Road and Hathaway Street?  If so, why in the world would any clear-thinking person want to "preserve" this small parcel from future housing?  It's located near downtown, near Wareham Crossing, near two different freeways and other amenities.  It seems extremely short-sighted--hostile even--to "preserve" this overgrown tick habitat when it's ideally located for future housing.

 

Or am I looking at the wrong area?

http://www.wareham.ma.us/sites/warehamma/files/uploads/w_83.pdf



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Aug 30, 2017 12:49

Not one dime for a Dog Park, not one dime. I would be supportive of an $10 increase on dog license and donate that to dog park and dog catcher. It would work like a harbor services permit for boats but only with dogs.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Aug 30, 2017 14:26

Sphere, Remember chicken tax idea?  If it came to fruition, they could have made one heck of a chicken park! Imagine a safe place, where everyone could walk their chickens!

 

Seriously, I agree.  I wouldn't give one dime for a dog park.  I don't have a dog and I don't care for dogs. Why should I pay for a dog park? Let dog owners pay. Makes total sense.

 



Posted by: cranky pants | Aug 30, 2017 16:52

Whoa..

Don't charge me for the silly park, I'm a dog lover and we've adopted three dogs yet I don't feel any need to have my fees increase for something I'll never use. Might make sense to you, but charging me extra because a few other dog owners want a place for socialization holds zero logic to me.

Let the dog park committee and their friends cover it.

Problem is unless you're planning on attending meetings with 56 of your friends to help stack the vote you're going to be force fed a park.. Enjoy.



Posted by: sadie | Aug 30, 2017 17:33

Bob you know that cpa funds can't be used for sand, dredging or potholes. 

If they don't get the grant I think they have to return the funds.

CPA money can be spent on parks I don't have children but I think it is a great idea to restore the playgrounds.

Dog park is a great idea these people have found a way to get grant money, and will maintain the park with money from funds they raise on their own. I think it will be a nice addition to the town 



Posted by: bob | Aug 30, 2017 21:18

Sadie,isn't CPA funds, can be use for recreation purposes,so isn't public beaches recreation areas as well as boating...And for my comment on using any left over sand to fix our sinking and potholes it would be better then how this town fix the  sink holes and potholes, by putting safety barrels as there way of fixing the problem...And my vote will be against putting CPA funds toward a dog park....No disrespect to you or to your dog...



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Aug 30, 2017 21:46

I have probably said it a dozen times on here over the years, but if you have an idea for a project to use CPA funds on, bring it to the committee and see if it is an approved use!  Get the ball rolling.  Typing on here gets your ideas nowhere. Things go before the committee, get approved as a suitable us of the funds and go to town meeting for a vote.  I don't know if beaches would be an approved use or not, but it is worth a try if you feel so strongly about it.  Thing is, you have to do it.  No one will do it for you.



Posted by: Just Me1 | Aug 31, 2017 08:06

It seems that there are so many other things that need maintenance or repair that have been initiated by CPA Funds, that those should be looked at first. Although "DPAW plans to maintain the dog park through fundraising", what happens of they do not raise enough money? Remember when we could not raise enough for the fireworks? If DPAW wants a dog park, why do they not raise the money and create one themselves?

This does not seem like a good idea from many perspectives; nor a good use of funds.

I agree that if the CPC is not presented with ideas and plans, not much happens. But perhaps CPC could be more proactive in asking for input.

Since this dog park is, or seems to be, so controversial, could this proposal be voted on at Town Meeting?



Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 31, 2017 08:09

Here we go again with another attempt to jam a dog park down our throats. I thought this went away when everyone with an IQ above 40 decided there was at least a million better ways to spend the dollars. Certain individual's seem to think we must spend the money on stupidity or we are in danger of losing the funds. Well, I for one am in favor of letting some other communities with more worthy projects have the money. if we cant think of a better way to use the money thanu a special place for dogs to Pee and Poop,  then we are doomed to the depths of ignorance-land! Simply said over and over and over again; NOT ONE PENNY should be the responsibility of the non-dog owners of Wareham. For those of you out there who want a Doggie Pee and Poop Park: Go ahead, buy some land, charge a couple dollars to let a dog take a Dump, maintain the land on your own dime, and for God's-Sake, stop bothering the Taxpaying public with what should be a free-enterprise venture.



Posted by: sadie | Aug 31, 2017 08:51

bob here is a list I fund for cpa funds

Section 2 also defines recreational use. The focus for CPA recreational projects is on outdoor passive or active recreation, such as (but not limited to) the use of land for:

• Community gardens
• Trails
• Noncommercial youth and adult sports
• Parks, playgrounds or athletic fields

I never said I owned a dog.

Phredzz by your way of thinking playgrounds should only be funded by people who have children

 What projects do you think the town needs? Are you saying you would like the money we contributed to the cpa funds go to another town.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 31, 2017 10:54

Sadie: Nice try with the semi-subtle insult. Nowhere in my comments did I compare and/or even come close to comparing the need for children and adult recreational space to a place for animals to Socialize, Bite, Fight, and do thier bussiness. If however you choose to think the two are comparable, then one could  suggest that you open up your own personal Checkbook and exercise the  free-will to support any hairbrained projects of your choosing. I choose NOT to give up or waste my choices on deadend projects that will eventually turn into just one more municipal liability. As to your question about utilization of CPA funds; I have not given it a tremendous amount of thought, but since you have asked, yes, I would prefer the money go to a more worthwhile  cause where the majority of civil minded peoples might agree is a logical use of community dollars. One that comes to mind, that is if a loophole in the acceptable funds usage can be found would be; purchase food and clothing for some of the Texas Families decimated by Hurricane Harvey. I doubt if anyone in Wareham would complain about helping people instead of building Doggie-Parks.



Posted by: sadie | Aug 31, 2017 13:34

Phredzz I wasn't trying to insult you. I have already opened up my pocketbook by paying the taxes that go to the cpa funds and as a contributor to the cpa I think that the dog park is a good way to spend the tax money collected for recreation. You have every right to disagree Town meeting will decide if they want to spend the money for the dog park.

You know that cpa funds cannot be used for food or clothing for Harvey.

You said "there was at least a million better ways to spend the dollars" I was curious as to what you would want to spend the money on.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Aug 31, 2017 17:44

Sadie: Point Taken. Out of the Million better ways for us to Spend our Local Funds, anything that does NOT have the potential for future dollars to maintain the BASE Project would be just fine with me. Many of these Doggie-Park Projects across the country are now sucking Tax dollars out of the publics pockets due to unforeseen problems.  I also open my checkbook quarterly for my local Taxes and I am tired of watching my tax dollars spent on useless projects which almost always lead to more, and more, and more, and more Taxation when the well intended individuals who sponsor the projects eventually fall by the wayside.  In my lifetime, I have watched this rerun movie so many times it makes me want to vomit. Here's one for you that may be a possibility for CPA funds. With a little imagination, the town MAY be able to qualify homes of residents over 90 years old as Preservation Projects and give those homeowners a COMPLETE waiver of Residential Taxes. I think anyone who has lived in Wareham for more than some timeframe like(lets say 20 years or maybe more) and has survived to see their 90th birthday has probably paid ENOUGH ! In my opinion, that would be a wonderful Birthday Present to our most senior citizens'. Just in case you are thinking that I might have a personal reason for the proposed Wareham Most-Senior-Tax-Break, I do not. I have another 30 years or so to go before I will reach that threshold. As I previously said and will now repeat; I doubt if anyone in Wareham would complain about helping our people instead of building a dead-end project like a Doggie-Park. Animals should be the responsibility of their owners who made the choice to own a Pet, and NOT the responsibility of the non-owners. Also, as far as voting at the Town meeting, I have watched that Dog and Pony-show way too many years to think that my ONE Vote will stop  a project when the Audience is Stacked.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Aug 31, 2017 21:09

Has Dog Park Affiliates of Wareham established an estimate regarding the annual cost of maintaining the dog park?

 

If yes, upon what statistical information have they based their estimate?

 

Regarding support through fund raising, specifically what fund raising are they planning?

 

If their fund raising efforts fail to raise sufficient funds, what is their back up plan for funding the cost?

 

Will they be required to carry liability insurance?

 

Could the town be held liable for any injuries that occur on town property being used for a dog park?



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Aug 31, 2017 22:59

"Slavin said the CPC has a fund balance of $938,000 as of the end of the fiscal year."


Is this a TOTAL amount of funds the CPC has?  How much is in each category?  As I understood it, each category had to have SOME money in it.  I am not sure if that needed to be an equal split in each or how it works.


Also, I am not sure that the Lathum Centers "affordable housing"  project is a proper use of the funds.  I understand the mission of the Lathum Center and I applaud it, however I don't know if it is creating affordable housing exactly.  Maybe it is.  I could be wrong.  I also see that the CPC website now calls it "Community Housing" which would apply here.  There are certainly worse ways to spend these housing monies, but could there be better?   When it is gone (everything seems to pack up and move out eventually nowadays) and this house is vacant, who does it belong to?


As far as the dog park is concerned, I think it is a good project for "recreation", but it may be a stretch of what the funds are intended.  Recreation, in my opinion should be spent on sports fields, beaches, playgrounds, etc.   Probably not for a dog park.  However, $20,000 is still only about 1/3 of the cost of most of the "studies" we have used monies for that have resulted in very little actual use to anyone.  In a town where residents have almost nowhere that their dogs are allowed to go and have fun and a town where sidewalks to safely walk a dog around are limited, I can see the need for such a park.   I also have many of the questions Andrea has about it before I can cast my vote.


I don't see any real problem with either the Town Hall (historic) or Land Trust (open space) uses of the funds.



Posted by: sadie | Sep 01, 2017 08:40

 andrea I think they are getting information from other dog parks like the Falmouth dog park. They have a facebook page wareham dog park I think you can ask questions on the facebook page



Posted by: sadie | Sep 01, 2017 08:59

phredzzz the state has 3 or 4 tax deferral programs for people who are 65 and older. some are partial reduction and one defers all the tax and the tax is paid back when the house is sold. Different people qualify for different programs.

what we do need is some kind of fund for seniors who can't afford their electric or heating bills. I know some can get help with heatig bill but their doesn't seem to be any help for electric. I have worked with seniors and you would be shocked to find out how many go without electric.

but we are talking about cpa funding and they have very specific requirements as to what the money can be spent on.



Posted by: Phredzzz | Sep 01, 2017 11:18

To Andrea Smith. Kudos to you for on-point questions that are often overlooked and almost never answered.   To Sadie: Thanks for your reasonable response and I think we are NOT so far apart on some of our viewpoints. As an add-on to your answers, I want to reiterate that I think that anyone who has survived for 90 years deserves a COMPLETE Waiver of Real Estate Taxes. Those individuals have probably paid their fair share. If we eliminate that Tax burden, those individuals could afford to keep the lights lit and the heat turned up to a comfortable level. Maybe its time for our society to give the elderly a break and I don't mean a partial deferral with miles of Red Tape.



Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Sep 06, 2017 22:52

CPC funds aren't for essential services or quality-of-life expenditures such as a library or the Council on Aging.  For lack of a better term, let's consider them frivolous spending.

 

Despite not being a dog owner, despite finding most dogs repulsively undisciplined, despite considering most dog owners to be drooling idiots who are too darned lazy to train (or pick up after) their dogs, I think the dog park is a good investment.  Here's why:

 

1) The investment requested from the Frivolous Crap Fund is just 10% of the total cost.  We'll end up with a $200,000 dog poop repository and gymnastics arena for just 20 large.  That's a good payback.

 

2) The town already owns the lot.  It's not on the tax rolls now and won't be on the tax rolls when and if it fails.  But it will be fenced, adding to its value.

 

3) The Frivolous Crap Fund is nearly a million dollars.  Can you imagine how many acres of future housing lots they could take off the market in their misguided efforts to turn every vacant Kudzu-infested lot into protected habitat for two turtles, six toads, and a few dozen, uh, refugees from the 195 rest stop?  We need to get that money spent.  Your grandchildren will thank you.

 

4) We don't need to USE town services in order for them to add to Wareham's street cred.  How many of us use ALL the town's services?  When did you last darken the library doorway?  Call the Council on Aging--oh, wait, Wareham is the only town in the entire state to blow off its senior citizens.  Forget that one.  Are you a regular at Besse Park?  One of the playgrounds?  When did you last call the fire department?  Thing is, it's the wide variety of available amenities that make a community attractive, not whether or not we use those services ourselves.

 

5) I don't own a dog.  I don't have to go there!



If you wish to comment, please login.