Main Street, rail trail to get poop stations

Dog poop clean-up stations may not have that 1708 look, but the Historic District Commission is willing to allow a couple of them — not too many — on Main Street.

“That small committee that formed to address the issue of dog waste along Main Street — the many bags full of dog waste that appear — brought it to the Historic District, and they have allowed for the placement of two dispensers/receptacles in the Historic District, which is from the clock to the caution light,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi Monday, July 24.

“They were planning on several more locations, but unfortunately the Historic District gave permission for only two — to be reviewed at the end of one year.”

The disperser-receptacle units make plastic bags for picking up waste available to dog owners who forget to bring bags with them, and — perhaps more important — provide a place to put the bagged waste.

The units are planned in other spots, as well.

“There will be these receptacles, these dispensers, placed in several locations along the rail trail,” Marconi said.

The poop units are needed, he said.

“There’s been an unfortunately high incidence of waste bags and waste in general along the rail trail.”

What’ve we got?

Some disperser-receptacle units are already up.

“They are currently placed along the rec center property, where the walking path is,” Marconi said.

“The new ones will be like those, but they won’t be as high,” Marconi said. “The Historic District Commission asked that they be reduced in height — and eliminate any unnecessary signage.”

The town isn’t going to be paying for them, according to Marconi.

“No, it’s going to be a fund-raising effort. There’s a young man and his mom that are working on it,” Marconi said.

The hope is that units, providing bags and places to dispose of them, will go a long way toward dealing with a dog waste problem in town that appears to have been steadily growing worse since before the ordinance against it was passed in Ridgefield in 1999.

“It’s one reason we passed the original ordinance,” Marconi said, “preventing people from allowing their dogs just to poop freely along Main Street or any other area of town.”