Temporary dog park to open later this summer
Tim Brody - Editor
After receiving what is being referred to as an “overwhelming” response, The Municipality of Sioux Lookout is moving forward with the creation of a temporary dog park.
Rick Ladouceur, municipal manager of recreation & culture, commented, “It’s just about trying to listen to the community.”
Ladouceur, who is new to town, has been reviewing the department’s responsibilities and areas of operation and listening to feedback from the community.
He said many people have expressed to him their desire for a dog park in the community.
Acting upon that feedback, a survey was created and released to the community asking people’s thoughts on creating a dog park in town.
“The response to the survey, to date (July 23), has been overwhelming! Over 270 people responded and 250 people are supportive of the idea of creating a dog park in Sioux Lookout,” shared municipal clerk Brian MacKinnon.
Ladouceur said that within 24 hours of releasing the survey, over 100 people had responded to it expressing their support for a dog park in the community.
“Hard copies of the survey can be obtained at the Recreation & Culture Department, Sioux Lookout Recreation Centre. The survey will remain open until August 1,” MacKinnon added.
Asked where the temporary dog park would be set up, Ladouceur responded, “It would be behind the dog pound (at the west end of King Street), near the sewage treatment plant. There’s a field that is wide open that belongs to the municipality.”
Ladouceur said snow fencing could be used to further fence off the area as well as divide the park into a play area for big dogs and a play area for little dogs.
Water could be obtained from the pound.
“Doggie bags” and a garbage can would also be provided in the space.
According to the municipality, the location was selected due to the following considerations:
Walkable distance for residents
Dead end street
Dog Pound has water
Garbage is easily picked up
Blueberry Hill could be a good run for bigger dogs
Parking is available
Fencing is present
Ladouceur said objects like old tires from public works will be used to create a playground for the dogs.
The possible use of Blueberry Hill as an additional area for dogs to run upon would not continue in the winter when the hill is used for sliding.
The temporary dog park is expected to open later this summer.
If the dog park proves popular, proper fencing would be erected in the spring to transform the area into a permanent dog park.
In order to defray that cost and other costs of establishing a dog park, donations would be collected.
Some concerns expressed in the survey included the cost of establishing and operating a dog park, asking it be set up as a user pay program.
Ladouceur said how much dog owners would be charged to use the dog park is still being determined.