Council discusses potential dog park and extra fines

Amsterdam dog owners who renew their licenses over 30 days late may face an extra $15 fee. A proposed change to the city’s code is up for a vote next Tuesday which would implement the late fee.

City Clerk Susan Alibozek said today that there are currently 75 late renewals out of a total of 1,320 dogs in the city’s records. She said 500 of those dogs are new sign-ups this year due in part to increased efforts in partnership with Animal Control Officer Gina Kline to increase awareness about the license requirement. The city requires all dogs to be licensed and charges $10 per year for spayed or neutered dogs, and $18 for dogs that aren’t.

At the last committee meeting on September 6, Alibozek said she hopes the late fee will encourage residents to renew on time. She also mentioned that unlicensed dogs could be cited by the animal control officer and fined as much as $250.

At the same committee meeting, council members discussed the possibility of creating a dog park at Veteran’s field. Alderman James Martuscello suggested that the park be made available for licensed dog owners only. Members agreed to talk about the idea more with Recreation Director Rob Spagnola at next week’s Recreation Committee meeting on September 20 at 5:00pm.

Mayor Michael Villa also said he wants to see an extra fine imposed on dog owners who allow their dogs to defecate on the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge. According to Villa, one instance of this happening has already been reported.

“I don’t want to make the bridge a dumping ground for dogs,” said Villa. “Use common sense, walk your dog before you go on the bridge.”

Council members discussed the idea of having signs posted at the entrances to the bridge with various rules, although Villa cautioned against too much signage around the bridge. Martuscello also suggested having bag dispensers and garbage cans available at either entrance. Members agreed to talk about the topic more at next week’s committee meeting.

Featured photo (c) Can Stock Photo


About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

3 Responses to Council discusses potential dog park and extra fines

  1. Other cities have laws requiring anyone walking a dog to have the means to pick up after them, either a pooper scooper or plastic bags. If they can not produce either when asked by law enforcement, they are ticked and possibly fined.

  2. AvatarDon says:

    What a dumb idea Jerry, police wandering around to ask people to produce a plastic bag on the spot or be fined? Dog shit can be picked up with leaves if necessary, or buried 6-8 inches. plastic, what an environmental waste. The seasonal closed at 9pm bridge is full of light pollution and lights pointed right at trees that should not even be on a bridge over a river.

    • AvatarTim Becker says:

      Don, you don’t have to call an idea “dumb” to argue against it.

      Just to note, at this meeting, Gina Kline, the animal control officer, did bring up the same idea as a possibility.

      It’s difficult because although there are many good pet owners, it only takes a small number of negligent ones to mess things up. I’ve witnessed several times how dog owners literally don’t give a crap about picking up after their dogs. A few times I’ve seen it happen in city parks, one time right in front of my house. I asked the lady who let their dog crap right infront of my house if she was going to clean it up. Oh, I forgot my bag, was her response. I went inside and came out with a bag for her.

      Your last statement is baffling – out of all the issues surrounding the bridge, you’re worried about a little light pollution? In a city? Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when the large city buildings like the Cranesville Block building, the FGI building, and the Clock Tower are lit up again!