With the snip of a dog leash, Councillor Dale Plante, Mayor Susan Samson and Councillor Rick Grimson opened the much anticipated off leash dog park on 60th Street just north of West Meadows Cemetery, last Wednesday afternoon.
Many dogs and their owner waited in anticipation for the official ceremony to conclude. Then everyone moved inside and dogs were freed to run through the field or cool off in the water. Over 40 dogs participated.
At Monday night’s meeting, councillors approved the addition of gates and an orientation area for the park at a projected cost of $5,000. That’s available within the project budget of $180,000, according to a cost breakdown provided by Ron Lebsack, director of community services. He indicated that since the opening the issue of gates has been a topic on Facebook and the town has received six requests for them so dogs don’t get out of the park.
The orientation area will be located off the parking lot entrance to allow owners that are unsure of their dogs a location to introduce their dog to other dogs prior to entering the larger off-leash park area, he indicated.
More work needs to be done at the area during the fall planting season.
Councillor Laverne Asselstine was against spending money on gates.
“It’s still the onus of owners to maintain control of their dogs,” he said. “I don’t think it’s our obligation to spend a lot more money. Let’s trial test it.”
During the opening, Samson said the town is home to 1,577 licensed dogs which are “an important part of this community and very valued”.