The Dog Park Working Group’s funding request came before the District of Sparwood on December 17. File photo

Off-leash dog park gives Sparwood council paws for thought

District agrees to pay half the cost of building Sparwood’s first off-leash dog park

Sparwood dog owners are one step closer to having a safe place for their pooches to run and play off-leash.

A parcel of land at 477 Pine Avenue has been earmarked for an off-leash dog park after an online survey found strong support for the location.

There is currently nowhere for dogs to run off-leash in Sparwood and the District has received numerous complaints about waste left in ball diamonds, and the Elk Valley Cemetery.

Proposed features of the dog park include perimeter fencing, a loop trail, an open area, small dog enclosure and benches.

The Dog Park Working Group estimates it will cost $46,949 to build but has requested $60,000 be allocated in the 2019 capital budget to ensure any unforeseen costs during development are covered.

However, the District will deliver only half of the funding after councillors raised concerns about the project cost at the December 17 regular meeting.

Council has resolved to set aside $30,000 and land for the development of the dog park, contingent on the working group developing a plan on how money could be raised to cover the balance of capital costs and future operations.

“One thing I’m hearing from the group is that $60,000 is too much,” said Mayor David Wilks at Monday’s meeting.

“If we’re providing land in kind, that land would have value.”

Wilks acknowledged that $30,000 won’t complete the dog park project but said it would help. He hopes the group can fundraise to meet the shortfall in funding.

The first regular council meeting of 2019 will be held in Council Chambers on Monday, January 7 at 6 p.m.

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A parcel of land at 477 Pine Avenue has been earmarked for an off-leash dog park proposed in Sparwood. Courtesy of District of Sparwood

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