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A dog litter station for every park?

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POSTED April 21, 2009 1:39 a.m.
ROSE ALBANO RISSO
City editor of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
LATHROP – Dog litter in Lathrop’s nearly two-dozen public parks could be a thing of the past.
The City Council tonight will consider a proposal to install dog litter stations at all community and neighborhood parks as a way to encourage park users to clean up after their pets and improve cleanliness at these facilities.
There would be 17 Dog Litter Stations installed all in all: three at Mossdale Landing Community Park, two each at Apolinar Sangalang Park behind Joseph Widmer Jr. School at Stonebridge and at Park West on the north side of River islands Parkway, and one each at Armstrong Tot Lot, Libby Lane Park, Milestone Park, Thomsen Basin, Woodfield Park, Crescent Park, Mossdale Commons, River Park North, River Park South, and The Green.
The city’s dog park, which officially opened last year, and the newly expanded and improved Valverde Community Park on Fifth Street in historic Old Town District already have litter stations in place, two at each location.
The estimated $5,000 that would be used to install all 17 new pooch litter stations would not be a new expense. The proposal is to use general fund money previously budgeted for a storage trailer project that is no longer needed for that purpose. Transfer of that sum would require a budget amendment and would need to be approved by the council.
That’s just the cost to install the litter stations though. Additional funds would be needed to replenish the supply of bags at these stations at a cost of $1,300 a year plus funding for city manpower to maintain those stations. An estimated “60 man hours” would be needed to provide this part of the stations’ maintenance.
That part of the proposal is the creation of a new budget to pay for those staff hours and for the litter bags. The council will decide whether they agree with staff’s suggestion to create a new Community Improvement Program project specifically for the Dog Litter Stations.
If funding for this proposal is approved, all of Lathrop’s public parks, both big and small, would have these stations in place by the end of June.
This action is being presented in response to the “concerns of many citizens who have called to complain about dog waste in city parks,” according to staff reports. Not too long ago, former mayor and Planning Commission chairman Bennie Gatto complained to the council about running into unwanted and unsanitary pet deposits at the newly improved Valverde Park. He also suggested at the time that supplying litter bags there would probably cost just around $300.
The council meeting at 7 o’clock tonight will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 390 Towne Centre Drive at Mossdale Landing.

To contact Rose Albano Risso, e-mail ralbanorisso@mantecabulletin.com or call (2090 249-3536.

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