JAY — A resident has requested that pets be banned from the Church Street Playground so children can play there without pet droppings.

The playground was built through a community effort with volunteers organized by the Healthy Community Coalition. The community raised funds for new equipment, town officials offered land and maintenance, and local contractors volunteered a day to install it. The new playground was dedicated to the memory of Leanne LeBlond, a young mother who died at a fire in an apartment building on the site decades ago, and in honor of the firefighters who risked their lives and rescued her 18-month-old son.

Currently, children cannot play at the park due to too many pet droppings, according to the letter sent to the town, Town Manager Ruth Marden told the board Monday. People are not picking up after their pets, she said.

Resident Noel Brown, who is also the town’s emergency management director and a firefighter, asked about enforcing a ban on pets. Just installing a sign banning pets would need to be backed up, he said.

Discussion centered on police and the animal control officer answering complaints there and enforcing the prohibition and telling a pet owner to leave the park.

“We cannot enforce a law that’s not a law,” police Chief Larry White Sr. said. “You could put up a sign but you’ll have to adopt an ordinance.”

It’s all busy work, Brown said.

White said police would gladly go down and ask them to leave but that’s all they could do.

“There is no teeth to what you want us to do,”  he said.

The district attorney is going to want it spelled out what the penalty is for violating such a law, if it is adopted, White said.

Selectmen voted to table action on the request until the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, at the town office.

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