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

Tim Becker

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