Following several resident complaints regarding dog (and owner) misbehavior at the Allen Township Dog Park, supervisors and administration are discussing ways to enhance security at the public park. The topic of discussion was brought up during the supervisors’ December 12 meeting.
“A lot of people use [the dog park] and it can get sensitive,” said Township Manager Ilene Eckhart.
During a recent parks committee meeting, residents complained that some park visitors were “voluntarily” not following park rules, causing safety concerns between dogs and their owners.
As a result, the committee asked whether the township could implement an application and access system to bring more “control” to the park. This program would require residents to apply for yearly use of the dog park and access the facilities using a keycard or fob.
The parks committee will meet in January with the Friends of Allen Township Dog Park and representatives from Northampton County to further discuss these plans. However, most supervisors voiced early hesitation over limiting the park’s access and potentially placing the burden of paying for this system on taxpayers.
“Initially [the park] was supposed to be self-policing,” said Supervisor Dale Hassler. “We don’t have this at other parks.”
Supervisor Tim Paul said cameras would be a better use of township funds, and still keep the public park open for all residents.
“Cameras can point out liability if there’s an issue. All we need are cameras,” he said.
Supervisor Paul Link agreed. “Cameras these days are invaluable.”
Meanwhile, Township Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell said charging individuals to use the park could potentially open up the township to liabilities should someone get injured by a dog.
Eckhart added that Northampton County may even reject the controlled access plan. These concerns will be addressed in January’s meeting.
In other news, supervisors approved soffit, fascia, gutter and downspout upgrades to the Howertown Park field house. Whitaker Roofing & Siding will replace the old wooden siding with aluminum, commercial grade materials, in addition to replacing the gutters. The work will be performed over the winter for $8,995.
Supervisors also reviewed the draft intermunicipal Sewer Service Agreement between Allen Township, Catasauqua Borough and the Catasauqua Borough Authority. This 40-year agreement will provide for sanitary sewer service to the Equus subdivision development on Willowbrook Road.
Sewage will flow from Allen Township into Catasauqua Borough with one connection point. The borough will charge the township, who will in turn charge the development’s property owners.
This agreement has been tabled for further discussion and tapping fee calculations.
Finally, after a brief executive session, supervisors approved the motion to draft a conditional letter of employment for the open assistant township manager position. The name of this candidate has not yet been released, pending the offer’s acceptance.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be the reorganizational meeting on January 2 at 6 p.m. in the township municipal building at 4714 Indian Trail Rd.