Puppy Play

Vanessa Pehle played ball with these two pups at the Union dog park Saturday morning. The warm temperatures brought many area residents outdoors

The future home of the Washington dog park will be on Simonds Avenue near the public works building.

At last month’s park board meeting, Dan Cassette and other board members wanted to know if the much-discussed site on Simonds Avenue was, in fact, going to be a dog park.

After reviewing meeting minutes, Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle said the council approved the location in August.

Cassette asked Dunkle to look into the issue after he was contacted several times and told the location wasn’t official. Cassette said it would be unfair to people invested in the dog park if the location wasn’t finalized and the location was moved later.

At Thursday’s meeting, Dunkle informed the board that when the city ended its lease with the Washington Youth Sports Association, it also approved the site as a future home of the dog park.

“The recommendation in the council minutes, that was approved, said the city would terminate the lease with little league baseball in order for the land to be used for the pursuit of a dog park,” Dunkle said. “That’s what was approved by the council.”

Cassette and the rest of the board agreed what was approved by the council is official and no further action is needed by the park board.

“That settles it for me,” Cassette said.

Dunkle said he will continue to look for possible funding for the dog park and soon his staff will start maintenance on the area.

“We will be heading to that property and we will be hitting the trees, cleaning some of them up,” he said. “There’s some brush there that needs to be cleaned up. We’re going to start maintaining it on a regular basis.”

Later in the meeting, Julie West, a dog park supporter, said she was going to start seeking funds from local businesses. She wanted to know what the city’s policy was on putting sponsorship names on signs.

“Before we solicit corporate or big donations, I want to know what the regulations are about signage,” she said.

Dunkle said the city really doesn’t have an official policy.

“As of right now, we don’t have a strict set policy on that,” he said. “At Ronsick Field and a few other places, we do have some signage, but we don’t have it throughout the park system.”

West clarified that she wasn’t looking to line the dog park fence with ads, but rather would like a sign to list sponsors.

Dunkle and the board agreed that would be a fine idea. The board agreed a simple sign with the name of the park and a list of important sponsors could easily be placed out in front of the park.

“It would be like adopt a park,” Cassette said.

The board said similar signs exist at parks throughout Washington.

West said she i going to seek funds for the dog park fence and hoped to have several thousand dollars when all is said and done. She is concerned, however, about getting the money in the budget.

West said she worries if all the funds aren’t collected by the time the budget for next year is set, the dog park group would have to wait another year to get in the budget.

Dunkle said that could be avoided by making a donation. He said the youth sports association recently pledged to donate up to $20,000 to repair fields at Lakeview Park and that wasn’t originally in the budget.

He said whenever the dog park group gets money, it can be donated to the city and worked into current plans.