Will Craig win a dog park? Volunteers ramp up efforts for grant funding | CraigDailyPress.com

Will Craig win a dog park? Volunteers ramp up efforts for grant funding

— Craig could be home to its own dog park in the near future if Moffat County Humane Society volunteers are successful in their efforts to secure funding.

Representatives from the organization presented to Craig City Council May 9 to request a letter of support and an unofficial commitment of three to seven acres in the East Annex Park near the cemetery.

"A dog park can not only beautify our community but increase the level of good canine citizens," Humane Society volunteer Sasha Nelson — also a Daily Press reporter — told council. "There are so many benefits for both pet lovers and those who don't have pets."

Nelson is leading the effort to apply for a $25,000 grant for the second time from the PetSafe Bark for Your Park program. Fencing is the biggest up-front cost; Nelson roughly estimated that basic chain-link fence for a rectangular, three-acre park would cost around $15,000, with costs going up for a larger park or other types of fencing.

The renewed fundraising efforts come after years of consulting with city staff about possible locations. The city has unofficially agreed to set aside up to seven acres of city property at the East Annex for the park, Mayor John Ponikvar said.

"This is truly a volunteer effort by group of citizens to get something done," he said. "It would just be a great amenity for the community… For people to get out and get their dogs out and socialize would be great thing."

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The effort also come on the heels of a decision by Moffat County Commissioners to no longer allow dogs to be off-leash in Loudy-Simpson Park or other county parks.

According to preliminary designs, the entrance would sit on the 2100 block of Jeffcoat Drive, with at least a one-acre small dog park adjacent to a two-acre large dog park. The parcel is currently classified as open space, which means the city only minimally maintains it, spraying for weeds but not watering or otherwise closely managing the area.

"The fence is the big expense to get it started. We won't have any additional maintenance over and above that," said Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike. "Really, it's not a big impact on the budget."

Council opted to move forward with drafting a letter of support to be submitted with the PetSafe grant application, due June 30, and Nelson is ramping up to engage further community support to improve Craig's chances of winning the grant.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.

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