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Yorktown Dog Park Advocates Peeved With Obstacles

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Ten years after a small group of residents sunk their teeth into creating a community dog park in Yorktown, obstacles continue to stand in the way of progress.

"We're still in neutral. It's very frustrating," said David Rocco, president of the Yorktown Community Dog Park Committee.

Two weeks ago, Council member Dave Paganelli said town officials had "a very productive meeting" with state officials, including former town supervisor Linda Cooper, a regional director with the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation and Historic Preservation, over use of property in Donald J. Trump State Park off Old Baldwin Road.

"It's looking very good for Donald Trump State Park," Paganelli said. "We've worked over 10 years wanting a dog park. This is the administration that will get it done."

However, Rocco said he does not share Paganelli's optimism since both state and town officials have said they will not provide any services to the dog park.

"That means we would have to mow the grass, remove the garbage and plow the road and the parking lot when it snows," Rocco said. "Can you tell me any other group in this town that has to do this to their areas of activity? Softball, baseball, soccer or skate boarding, take your pick. Aside from the hiking trail organizations who maintain the numerous trails in Yorktown, the answer is a resounding no."

Over the last 10 years, Rocco said 16 other dog parks have been created in Westchester and Putnam counties, yet Yorktown remains without a firm commitment.

"Yorktown is 40 square miles. They couldn't come up with one acre for a dog park?" Rocco said. "Yorktown is getting off the hook by us getting this property. In the best interests of the dog park, why do we need the Town of Yorktown? What are they doing for us?"

The committee has raised an undisclosed amount of money to date for the park, but are short of the estimated $40,000 needed for a fence and $4,000 to remove asbestos from some dilapidated buildings on the site. Yorktown has offered to pay the other $4,000.

"We've got to be patient. We want to make sure we've got the green light," Rocco said. "I think some people don't think it's ever going to happen."

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