WILDWOOD CREST - When Stephen Spagnuola wants to take his 3-year-old rescued pit bull terrier, Mick, out for a little fun, he heads to the dog park in Cape May.

But Spagnuola hopes the borough can find a place to open its own dog park.

"It brings people together and they can interact with their dogs," he said.

He has asked the three Borough Commissioners to consider developing a similar dog park in town.

Cape May and Ocean City are among the local towns with dog parks. They operate on a fee basis and give dogs a place to roam without a leash.

In Cape May, for instance, the park costs $20 a year. Ocean City charges $30 a year to Cape May County residents. Weekly passes also are sold to


Spagnuola and his neighbors have collected dozens of signatures from supporters of a dog park, and he brought those with him Wednesday to Borough Hall.

Commissioner Don Cabrera, who oversees Public Works, Public Property and Recreation, said the borough has about 15 open-space areas used for recreation or parks.

He said a possible location could be near the Public Works garage as Spagnuola suggested, but the concern is placing a dog park near any residential areas.

Cabrera said he would review the idea to determine if it's feasible for the borough "if it's something that can be done without putting a burden on our employees or affecting property values."

That would include visiting existing parks in the county and meeting with the people who run them to see if it fits the community.

Cabrera said the issue has been raised before, but opposition usually outweighed support.

Mayor Carl Groon said he also would have to consider which department would oversee the matter, and that past attempts at finding a location were unsuccessful.

He said he would meet with the dog park supporters at a later date.

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