Bangor council approves dog park, farmers market

Posted Feb. 27, 2012, at 10:31 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — For the first time, the city will have official places for owners to take their dogs to play and for local farmers to take their produce to sell this summer.

The City Council voted 9-0 Monday night in favor of a two-year lease with the Bangor Farmers’ Market Association for a market at the Upper Abbott Square parking lot and a new dog park at Essex Woods.

The council approved both the recommendations by the city’s government operations committee to relocate a dog park planned by residents from the old railroad roundhouse property at the end of Dutton Street near the Penobscot River to the Essex Woods property off Watchmaker Street, near the P.A.L. Center building, and the proposed location of the training yard portion of the park next to the basketball court.

Citizens’ dog park communications coordinator Chris Nill told the council about his group’s plan to raise $50,000 to $75,000 through private donations to support the building and maintenance of the park, as well as a plan to hold a public informational meeting to brief anyone interested in the park and its purpose. He said the group, which already has raised about $8,000, would like to open the park this summer.

The farmers market, the first organized one in Bangor since 2005, will be located across from the Bangor Public Library. Operations will start on Sunday, June 3, and continue on a weekly basis into November. It will be open to the public from noon to 3 p.m.

The market has attracted interest from 400 people through a survey on Facebook. Of those 400, 85 percent indicated they would come downtown to buy produce and 300 provided their email addresses to get information and updates on the market.

The Bangor Farmers’ Market Association has at least 13 members and is encouraging more members and vendors. The market could become a year-round effort but is scheduled for five months in its initial season. Association spokesman and farmer Clayton Carter was at Monday night’s meeting to answer questions and thank councilors for their support.

The dog park is a two-year effort that may be nearing culmination with a .85-acre park space divided into two spaces for large and small dogs and a 50-by-120-foot training yard.

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