A decision for an off leash dog park in the Town of Millet has been tabled for a second time by councillors.
CAO Teri Pelletier brought forth to councillors at their Feb. 22 meeting the idea of a trial run, semi-temporary dog park, including two proposed locations.
Option A would be a triangular area and is currently fenced on two sides. It is maintained by park staff and contains a bench and waste receptacles. Option B is much larger, not maintained by staff and has no benches or waste bins.
All councillors, excluding Coun. Vicki Pyle, seemed to favour the larger parcel of land, option B.
“I think that option B to me makes the most sense,” said Coun. Doug Peel. He added because option B is rougher pasture land than option A it may deter bike riders and walkers from using the area.
Coun. Mike Storey liked option B better for the potential volume of dogs and owners that may use the off leash park. “I don’t think option A is big enough.”
Coun. Carol Sadoroszney said she favoured option B, along with some of the residents she spoke with and the Millet in Bloom Committee.
“I agree with option B,” said Coun. Pat Garrett. Her concern is liability and she does not want the park located near walking trails or pedestrian bridges.
Pyle feels the smaller area which has better grassy areas would be a better park for those who want to walk their dogs and have strollers and for seniors with dogs. “The smaller area, being groomed, has a little more appeal to it.”
Pelletier says because option B is more pasture-like land there may be less incentive for owners to pick up after their animals, on top of a lack waste receptacles in the area.
Mayor Tony Wadsworth was also in favour of option B but did not think it needed to be as large as proposed. The location has a natural choke point one-third of the way down which he feels would be a good place to fence the park.
Pelletier proposed to council that snow fence be used to fill in any barrier gaps at a chosen location as a way to keep costs low, between $400 and $500, during the trial run.
However, the idea of a snow fence received mixed results from council, and mayor Tony Wadsworth asked that administration specifically price out snow fence costs for the ends of proposed option B, for the ends of only one-third of option B, and chain link for the ends of one-third of option B. The numbers will come back to council for its March 22 meeting.
“I don’t think snow fence will address the concerns of dogs getting out,” said Pyle. Pelletier explained the snow fence would act as a sight barrier for the dogs, and added badly behaved dogs should not be brought to the dog park regardless of what fencing is there.
The mayor agreed with Pyle on the snow fence though. “Snow fence in my own mind is dubious,” said Wadsworth.