Dog park discussions continue at forumSeveral residents voiced their opinions over proposed construction of a dog park in Dickinson at a public forum Friday morning. While people for and against the project spoke, more than half of those who spoke were in favor of the dog park.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Several residents voiced their opinions over proposed construction of a dog park in Dickinson at a public forum Friday morning. While people for and against the project spoke, more than half of those who spoke were in favor of the dog park.
“I think it will be an asset to the community,” said Howard Gordon.
The project will be a joint effort between the Dickinson Park District and Oreo’s Animal Rescue, an organization that cares for abandoned animals. All Seasons Park in northeast Dickinson is a potential site for the project.
Kim Brummond, a Dickinson veterinarian, said the park would allow dogs to run and play safely.
“Well-exercised dogs are less likely to be a nuisance, they’re unlikely to bark excessively and are unlikely to destroy property,” Brummond said.
She added it also gives people an outlet to socialize.
“It’s a great place for owners to meet other people,” Brummond said.
Others who spoke in favor of the park said there is a need for those in apartment buildings or staying a night in a hotel who have nowhere to let their dogs run.
However, several residents who live near the park spoke against it.
“I have two small children that play at that park all the time and I know there’s dogs that run around,” said Dana Tuhy. “Some dogs do charge after my kids.”
Others worry about the excess noise the park may create, owners not cleaning up after their pets and dogs running loose.
“The dogs will be in a fenced area,” said John Gaffaney, the Dickinson Park Board vice president, adding dogs must be on a leash anywhere outside the fenced-in play areas. “It sounds to me that dogs using the park now are not on leashes and they just have access to the whole park.”
He and others at the forum said the addition of the fenced areas may encourage pet owners to keep their dogs from running loose in the park.
“They can just go there, bring their dogs there and leave, but we have to stay there,” said Terrie Roller, who lives near the park. “We have to live with it.”
Roller added she plans to sue if any of her family members get bit.
Jennifer Kuntz, who also lives near the park, is concerned about the project but doesn’t see many negative impacts.
“We already have so many dogs that use that park, it really is already kind of built in,” Kuntz said.
She added her living room window overlooks the entrance of the park, and she doesn’t foresee any noise issues arising.
“All summer long I leave my windows wide open and you barely hear kids yelling in the park,” Kuntz said. “If you’re not hearing kids yelling in the park, you’re not going to hear dogs barking.”
The dog park would be closed after dark, but Kuntz said she is concerned with how dark the park is at night. She wonders if kids will use the park after hours.
“I would like to see some lighting as a deterrent and for some security,” Kuntz said.
The Park District had originally planned to take out the basketball court in All Seasons Park when constructing the dog park. However several residents expressed concern over its possible removal at last week’s public forum. The Park District is looking at other options which would allow the basketball court to stay.
Dickinson Park District Director James Kramer said they are also looking into making a separate entrance for the dog park and adding trees to help separate it from the playground area.
The forum was held by the Dickinson Park District to gather input on the matter before deciding whether or not to move forward with the project.
In other matters, Dickinson Park Board also held its monthly meeting Friday:
E Board members discussed new pool drain requirements. To replace the drains at the North Pool and wading pool, along with incorporating a required recirculation system, it would cost a minimum of $52,500. The North Pool would not be able to open this summer without the updates.
It will cost about $16,767 to make the necessary updates to the pools at the West River Community Center.
E The lease agreement for the change in ownership of The 19th Hole restaurant is to be approved if the sale is closed successfully.
E The board will look into options for the openings of the golf professional and pro shop manager positions at Heart River Golf Course.
E The board decided to have Kadrmas Lee & Jackson design a skate park.