Elizabethtown Borough Council members discussed the possibility of allowing people to walk dogs through Community Park on the new pedestrian-bicycle pathway.
The borough has a longstanding ban on dogs in borough parks, but Councilor Tom Shaud said at the Borough Council work session on Thursday, Oct. 5, that he wants to rethink the ban along the path.
“I think we need to advertise it a little more and I’d like to see more use of the path,” Shaud said.
Shaud said he noticed that people walking dogs had to leave the path and walk around the park to comply with the dog ban. He said it might make sense to make an exception to the dog ban allowing people to walk dogs on the path only.
One concern about allowing dogs is that some dog owners will not pick up dog waste.
“If the problem is people aren’t picking up after their dogs, maybe we should have some cleanup stations,” Shaud said.
There is already a station with plastic bags available along the trail east of where it crosses the Conoy Creek to make it easier to clean up after dogs; Shaud was proposing similar stations in Community Park.
Council member Jeff McCloud said the idea of allowing dogs to be walked on the path raises the question of whether dogs should be allowed throughout the park. If dogs are allowed throughout the park, he said, it raises the question of what regulations there should be, such as requiring that they be leashed.
“It would legalize what a lot of people are already doing anyway,” McCloud said.
In other business, Police Chief Jack Mentzer said during the meeting that more than $16,600 worth of property was reported stolen in September. When asked after the meeting if there were any big-ticket items among that, he said a $10,000 engagement ring was stolen from the glove compartment of an unlocked car on Maple Street, a residential street.
Mentzer said thefts from vehicles are a big problem and in most cases, thieves will move on to an easier target if the vehicle is locked and there are no valuables visible that would tempt them to break a window.
“That is the No. 1 thing people can do to prevent thefts,” Mentzer said, referring to locking parked vehicles and keeping valuables out of sight.