Craig residents will get new dog park | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig residents will get new dog park

Take your dog for a long walk or hike for added summertime exercise that’s healthy for both you and the dog.
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The city of Craig approved the location of its new municipal dog park for those wanting to let their dogs off leash without leaving town.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 27, council members decided to locate the city’s new dog park on a lot adjacent to the Craig Cemetery at 630 Ashley Road.

Earlier this year, officials with the city of Craig, Moffat County School District and the Humane Society of Moffat County met to brainstorm on possible sites for puppy parents to meet fellow dog lovers.

According to April 10 meeting minutes from Craig’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board, city officials had been negotiating with the school district about leasing a slice of school property for a new dog park. The school district would have leased the space to the city for an annual fee of $1, according to the proposed intergovernmental agreement.

The city mailed a letter to residents in the neighborhood detailing their plans for the dog park and requesting input, and they got it. According to the meeting minutes, so many residents showed up to voice their distaste for project, the city’s advisory board recommended the city change the planned location of the bark park.

Council voted for the change at its May 14 meeting.

“I hope that this moves forward, but obviously at a different location,” said council member Andrea Camp at the meeting.

Now, the city and Humane Society have found that location — a 180-foot-by-300-foot piece of property on the eastern side of the city cemetery.

“We’d like to go forth and pursue developing this dog park in this area,” said Steve Hilley, of the Humane Society of Moffat County, at the Aug. 13 council meeting

Hilley said the new park will have two areas — one for small dogs and another for large dogs. The new park will have set rules and might one day have special water features for Craig’s four-legged critters.

Last week, City Attorney Sherman Romney informed council he had mailed out more than 100 notices to residents in the area informing them of the dog park plans about two weeks ago and gave them until council’s Aug. 27 meeting to respond.

“I went deep into the neighborhood,” Romney said of his notices to residents. “…I feel like there was adequate time for anyone to respond.”

Dave Wallace, a Craig resident, told council he sees fecal matter at Loudy-Simpson too often and feels like Craig’s dog park could become unsafe due to too much doggie doo-doo.

Wallace wants the city to enforce the rules regarding cleanup that will be posted at the park.

“I’d like to know what the city’s going to do to enforce that,” Wallace said.

Hilley of the Humane Society said his volunteers can only do so much and homeowners might have to step up to help keep the park clean.

“Homeowners are going to have to take some responsibility,” Hilley said.

But Hilley also plans to do whatever it takes to keep the park open and safe.

“If it does get dirty and disgusting, it will have to shut down,” Hilley said. “But we are going to do our darndest to keep it open.”

Craig resident Ken Wergin said he believes people will take responsibility for their pets.

“I think people who attend dog parks will be very open to tell people they need to pick it up,” Wergin said. “Those that go to dog parks are going to be people who really care about their animals. That’s why they’re there — to let their animals off the leash.”

Camp moved to approve the dog park and its location with council member Brian MacKenzie seconding the motion. After the motion, council member Paul James wanted to know how much the city was going to spend on the park.

“How much of this is going to be using public funds?” James asked.

Hilley’s answer — not a dime as of yet.

“To date, the funds we’re using for this park has zero public dollars attached to it,” Hilley said. “They’re all from donations and from grants.”

The motion passed with James being the only dissenting vote.