Corner Brook will finally have a dog park.
City council approved the use of the former B diamond at Fred Basha Memorial Field, which was decommissioned when the Lions Centre was expected to be renovated for the Saltos Gymnastics Club, for a dog park at its in-committee meeting Monday, said Coun. Keith Cormier.
It was identified as a priority by this council, the need for which became apparent during the election campaign, said the rookie councillor.
A dog park has been a project previous councils have attempted to get done. There had always been opposition from area residents and users of various locations identified over the years, and a pilot project in 2011 never did come to fruition.
This time, under the guidelines similar to a pilot project, Cormier is confident it will be a success. The facility only requires some maintenance and minor renovations, like putting the fencing the city still has back up and altering the access to the Wellington Street tennis and volleyball courts.
The dog park will feature a combination of grass and pea gravel, and feature the various amenities typical of such parks. The enclosed structure will allow dog owners to let their animals run freely.
“It will be a great addition to the city,” Cormier said, noting residents have been travelling to places like Pasadena and Stephenville to avail of dog parks there.
Cormier said there is likely room for improvements or additional features, if the park is well used. The start up costs and related work is estimated to be about $20,000, and the Humber Rotary Club is sponsoring the project with a $5,000 donation.
Cormier believes the price is right to at least give the park a try.
“I am not for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on something to find out it might not be used,” he said. “This way, we will know if it is indeed something the residents need to have.”
Cormier also hopes it will lead to dog owners not using other facilities, such as sports fields, to run their pets.
Cormier said no timeline has been established for the work, but he hopes to see the park open by the end of August.
Meanwhile, Gloria Piercey, president of the Humber Rotary Club, said the organization is happy to continue its charitable and community work through this project. The members of the business community have also heard the demand for this type of facility, she said, and it is the type of amenity professionals look for when deciding on a place to live.
“It is really wonderful to be part of this project,” she said. “We are all very excited about it.”
The dog park will be 100 feet by 100 feet.