Dept. of Transportation denies request for dog park in Stratford

The Department of Transportation says transferring the property to the town would violate state and federal guidelines. (3/26/14)

STRATFORD - A group of dog owners in Stratford says the Department of Transportation has denied its request to build a dog park in town. 

The project was denied because the land for the park, on Ryder's Lane next to the Merritt Parkway, is owned by the state. 

The General Assembly passed a bill last year transferring the land to the town, but never completed the transfer. 

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The Department of Transportation says transferring the property to the town would violate state and federal guidelines, jeopardizing funding for future transportation projects.

Lawmakers never asked for the department's input before passing a bill to allow the land transfer, says a spokesman. 

Another issue the group is facing is funding. The group raised $10,000 and received a $7,000 donation from Petco, giving it enough to build the park. However, the Petco donation was contingent upon progress being made by next month.

Without that money and without a location, the future for a dog park in Stratford is unclear. 

This is the second location the dog park group has pursued. It initially proposed putting the park in Roosevelt Forest, which is town-owned. The town denied the request. 

Mayor John Harkins says the council's Parks and Recreational Committee is reviewing the issue.

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