An anonymous donor has pledged $20,000 to the Union Parks and Recreation Department for a dog park to be located south of the main city park.
Park Director Kevin Arand told the city’s park advisory board Thursday night that the dog park proposal must follow the proper channels, including agreement of the parks, building, development and public service committee and the full board of aldermen.
“We have to follow protocol and send it out for bids,” Arand said.
The dog park would be located south of the sand volleyball court on North Christina Avenue.
Arand said he is uncertain of what the actual cost of the park would be.
City crews will work to stake off the area and determine the size of the park before going out for bids, if it is approved by the board.
“The donor also wants to donate for (playground) equipment by the sand volleyball courts,” Arand said.
He noted that the equipment would be intended, in part, for children while their parents play volleyball.
Arand recently visited Hannibal, Mo., to check out that city’s dog park.
“It was pretty bland, but I did take a look at the park play things,” he said. “We can build a lot of the things that can be put in there.”
According to Arand, he made notes of the Hannibal park rules, and is aware of rules set for by the city’s insurance provider MIRMA (Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association).
“They (Hannibal) have a lot of rules and MIRMA also has a lot of rules,” he said.
He further explained that the dog park would be fenced, and preliminary plans would require dogs to enter the park on a leash.
There also would be two fenced-off sections, one for large dogs and a second for small dogs.
“Aggressive dogs are not allowed,” Arand added.
He explained that breeds aren’t singled out as aggressive, but those who know they have aggressive dogs should stay out of the park.
“If you know, and your vet knows, it is an aggressive dog, you open yourself up to some liability,” he said. “The park will have numerous strict rules, and some are that you are responsible for your dogs — and if your dog attacks another dog.”
“I will talk to local vets and tell them that if they have dogs they know are aggressive, to recommend that (owners) don’t take them into the dog park,” Arand added.
Dogs also will have to have records and be up to date on shots.
Alderman Dustin Bailey asked if parking would be added at the park. He said there is little parking available during nights when the volleyball courts are in use for league play.
Arand said league play is only one night each week during summer months and people could park at the main city park and walk their dogs to the park. There also will be parking available across the street at the tennis court parking lot.
“Hannibal (officials) said theirs is used a lot,” he said. “I think it is an awesome donation and hope everything goes smoothly.”