Five options being considered for dog park

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 04/06/2014

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Dog owners are one step closer to getting a dog park in Timaru, with five locations likely to be considered.

At yesterday's Timaru District Council annual plan hearings, councillors agreed to set money aside to investigate a separate area for dogs to roam off the leash.

Council regulatory services manager Chris English said although there was nothing definite, there were sites at Redruth, Dashing Rocks, the Scenic Reserve, Leckie Reserve and South St which could be suitable.

He did not wish to be more specific at this stage.

"We need to go through the process, but the council realises there's a lot of support for the idea," English said.

Timaru Dog Park Trust spokesman Richard Brown told councillors there were a variety of options.

"Dog parks don't have to be prime real estate," Brown said.

"They can be located in a little-used area of a park such as old tennis courts or overgrown areas."

Brown agreed the Scenic Reserve could be a good site for the park, but said the councillors could also consider a spot at Caroline Bay or Dashing Rocks.

"Caroline Bay is the jewel in Timaru's crown," he said.

"There's a section that doesn't get much use, while Dashing Rocks would have the best views of any dog park in the country," he said.

Brown said the trust was willing to work with the council to raise money or source equipment for a fenced-off dog park.

English has said the council's dog account had about $350,000 in reserves, which had been accumulated through registration, infringement and pound fees.

It would cost about $50,000 to establish a dog park, and $10,000 annually to maintain it.

Upon hearing these figures, Shirley Burt asked councillors what her dog fees were being spent on.

"We have continued to travel to Christchurch, Dunedin and Tekapo to give our dogs a good safe run. When we do this we take our dollars out of the Timaru District. A dog park would be great for the district."

Cr Pat Mulvey worried about whether there would be an avalanche of requests from other parts of the district.

"I've already received a flurry from Temuka ... we risk letting the floodgates open," he said.

Eventually, the councillors agreed to Cr Steve Earnshaw's motion for the council to examine a Timaru option before considering any others.

"There's clearly a strong level of support for this idea, but let's take this one step at a time," he said.

English said he would prepare a research paper outlining the costs and logistics of each proposed site, which would be presented at a committee meeting next month.

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- The Timaru Herald

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