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Dog park plans moving ahead

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Plans for the Town of Fort Frances and the local Kiwanis Club to partner on an off-leash dog park here are moving forward now that a steering committee has been established.

The ad hoc advisory committee held its first meeting yesterday to review terms of reference, which now will be submitted to town council for its approval.

The steering committee consists of Kiwanis Club member George Bell, citizens Kathy Egan and Duane Hicks, Couns. Andrew Hallikas and Ken Perry, bylaw officer Arlene Byrnes, and Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown.

A second Kiwanis representative will join the committee in the near future.

The steering committee has been tasked with planning and selecting a site for a new off-leash dog park within the existing green space and park areas of the community.

Preference will be given to town-owned land.

Some factors the committee will consider include:

  • the participation of local partners in deciding the site of the park and financing it;
  • increased vehicular traffic;
  • noise and smell from the park;
  • ensuring the location is appropriate for dogs, owners, and the community;
  • determining the size and layout of the park (both large dog and small dogs);
  • all-season usage;
  • whether the new park should be located beside or in an existing park/green space; and
  • developing a set of rules for the off-leash dog park to be approved by council.

Recommendations from the advisory committee will be forwarded to Brown to bring to the Operations and Facilities executive committee to consider in its recommendations to council.

Last year, council identified the possibility of allocating a space for the exercising of dogs in its most recent strategic plan.

Then back in the spring, the Kiwanis got the idea for an off-leash dog park stemming from a survey conducted amongst club members.

They reasoned such a park provides an alternative for dog owners who currently are using the La Verendrye Parkway—not all of whom clean up after their pooches.

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