Dog park proposal moves forward

The Barkpark proposal has taken one more step ahead after town council supported in principle the idea of having a dog park.

The Barkpark proposal has taken one more step forward after town council supported in principle the idea of having a dog park on town-owned land.

The decision was made during the regular Smithers town council meeting on July 9 after the Barkpark committee made another submission, this time recommending a number of potential sites for the dog park.

Some of the sites include the Riverside Park campground, Elk’s Park and Heritage Park.

Mayor Taylor Bachrach said he felt the dog park would be a great addition to the community.

“I’d really like to see this happen, I think I’ve said that 45 times now,” Bachrach said.

“Other communities have dog parks, they’re seen as an amenity to the dog-owning public, which is probably bigger than the bike-owning public or at least comparable.

“I don’t see why, in a little corner of unused land, we can’t make something happen.”

Some councillors raised concerns about how the dog park would be managed by the volunteer group and also about giving town land to the group for the project.

Councillor Bill Goodacre said he was not at all worried about the management issues that could surround a dog park run by a non-profit society on town-owned land.

“Obviously, this is the first dog park in the world,” Goodacre deadpanned sarcastically.

“We’ve got people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do something, not just for themselves, but for others with no compensation of any sort. Those are the type of people that make a community a strong place. Why would we put up unnecessary roadblocks?”

Town of Smithers staff was directed to take a look at the information provided by the Barkpark committee and prepare a report on what they think is the most suitable location.

The report is to be completed by no later than May 31, 2014.

Barkpark committee head, Jessy Taggart, said she’s pleased with the direction the proposal is heading and understands projects like this can take time to get up and running.

“Nothing happens overnight,” Taggart said.

“But we don’t want it to be set on the back burner, we want it to eventually happen.”


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