Wednesday August 20, 2014

Fate of dog park in hands of users


Lisa Washington, Yorkton’s community development manager outlines the status of a proposed off leash dog park to dog owners at Gallagher Centre March 6.

The fate of an off-leash dog park for Yorkton is in the hands of dog owners.

At a public meeting March 6 at Gallagher Centre, Lisa Washington, the City’s community development manager told interested parties the City has $25,000 earmarked for the $38,000 project.

She said the administration has come as far as they can and now parks potential users would have to come up with the other $13,000 and prepare a presentation to pitch the park to City Council.

Washington said she thinks the chances of the park being completed this year are pretty good.

“I’m hopeful, I really am,” she said. “We have some people now who are stepping forward. It’s not just people saying, ‘yeah, this is a good idea,’ and we’ve had some consistency with the meetings, some of the same people are showing up. I think it’s tremendous, these are volunteers, then, that really want to make a difference.”

One of the people to step forward was Karen Dunlop, owner of the Yorkton pet supplies store Fins, Feathers and Fur. She does not think it will be difficult to pull off.

“We’re going to get together and talk to as many people as we can and get some ideas put together and just start [fundraising],” she said, I’d say [the odds are] pretty good because 13 thousand isn’t that much to raise, especially if they’ll let us put signage up on the fences.”

During the meeting, the idea was raised of approaching businesses to sponsor the park in exchange for advertising on the fences. Washington said it was a possibility.

If the yet-to-be-named dog owners group manages to put together the cash and convince Council to give the go ahead, the park will be built on approximately two acres of land near Jaycee Beach adjacent to the baseball diamond.

There will be three benches with garbage cans, doggie bag dispensers and an eight by eight foot holding area.

Washington presented a draft layout of the site, but it won’t be finalized until the spring when stakeholders can get out and do an onsite visit.

Dunlop is very excited about the prospect of the project coming to fruition.

“It’s going to be perfect for Yorkton, a long time coming,” she said. “It’s great for the dogs, it’s great for the people, and for tourism, because people will stop in our city to let their dogs run because they have a place to go.”



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