MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners Thursday, Aug. 2 unanimously approved a shared services agreement with the City of Ventnor for the use of the Anne Pancoast Dog Park located at 400. N. Argyle Ave., one block south of the Ventnor border.
The agreement has been negotiated over the last several months, the mayors of both communities said.
“I reached out to Mayor Becker during the winter,” Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman said Sunday morning. “We saw that a nice number of our residents would like one, but we only have a limited amount of public space available that is not encumbered by Green Acres regulations.”
Ventnor residents were investigating building a dog park at Ski Beach or on the tract of land behind the Ventnor Educational Community Complex.
“It wouldn’t be welcomed by neighbors of Ski Beach and having a dog park next to the school is not a good idea,” Holtzman said.
The Margate dog park was built for approximately $60,000 and opened in October 2009. It is located one block south of Fredericksburg Avenue, which backs up to the VECC’s athletic fields.
The park was dedicated May 13, 2014 to the memory of community activist Anne Pancoast, a dog lover who petitioned the city to build the park. The inscription on the sign reads: “All dogs go to heaven & Anne is there waiting for them.”
According to Margate Administrator Richard Deaney, residents of Margate and Ventnor would be able to use the park as long as their dogs are vaccinated and licensed in their respective municipalities.
The $30 annual fee charged by Margate will be waived for all users, he said.
According to Deaney, the gate to the park has not been locked and the city has not been collecting the fee for about two years.
The city will monitor usage to ensure pet owners comply with regulations.
Ventnor will share in the cost of insurance and maintaining the park by paying the City of Margate $3,500 annually.
“It’s a good move forward,” Deaney said. “It will give us some funds to help maintain our park, and (Ventnor’s use) is not anticipated to overburden the park. If it does, we can re-evaluate it.”
The agreement will be reviewed after 90 days, Commissioner John Amodeo said.
“Negotiations have been going on for months and months,” Margate Mayor Michael Becker said. “Hopefully, it will open doors to more cooperation.”
The park is open 8 a.m. to dusk, and users accept all liability for damages suffered by any person animal, according to the park’s Rules and Regulations, which are posted on the margate-nj.com website.
In other business, the board approved a $95,000 contract with the Margate Business Association to assist with marketing the city and conducting public events during 2018.
The contract is contingent upon the MBA providing financial statements for review by the city’s auditor.