Council adds dog park to work plan
July 1, 2010
By Tim Pfarr
Reduced fines for off-leash dogs planned
At its June 15 meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to have the Parks Commission investigate possibilities for an off-leash dog park in the city and return to the City Council with a recommendation.
The commission may consider creating a fenced off-leash area, or establishing times of day when dogs may be allowed off their leashes in city parks.
Also, the council will likely vote to reduce the fine for leash law violations — $250 per violation — at one of its July meetings.
The commission will begin discussing options for off-leash dogs at its June 15 meeting. The council suggested the commission keep the cost of a potential dog park at less than $25,000.
Among the options the council discussed was the placement of on off-leash area in the sports park slated to be built north off Southeast 91st Way.
The council also directed the commission to look to other municipalities to obtain information about how to address liability associated with off-leash dogs.
The only resident to speak about the dog park at the June 15 meeting was Jim Palzer, who said he was pleased the council was open to accommodating residents who want to let their dogs off leash.
In an interview after the meeting, he said the sports park would not be a good location for a dog park, as the park would not be within walking distance for many residents. He added that the park has no funding and will not be built in the near future.
Palzer said Lake Boren Park is the most logical location for an off-leash park, because of its central location and because there is a rarely used 1.3-acre portion on the north end of the park that could be fenced off for a dog park.
He added that there are more than 100 volunteers willing to help by building a park or by donating money to pay for a park.
“We’re simply trying to get a dog park in the city of Newcastle,” Palzer said. “That’s all.”
He said those interested in volunteering can e-mail him at email@example.com for more information. Although Palzer was the only one who spoke, he said residents Craig Proctor, Allen Daughterman and MJ Dobbins spearheaded the dog park effort.