-3.2 C
Fort St. John
Monday, October 22, 2018
Tel: 250-787-7100
Email: contact@energeticcity.ca
9924 101 ave Fort St. John, B.C.
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City of Fort St. John recommends waiting until 2018 to implement dog park solution

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – On May 8th, City staff along with Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman and community members met in respect to an interim off leash dog park.

Nicole Sztabkowski, Lisa Bergman and Kira Baines appeared in front of Fort St. John Council on to express concerns on April 24.

The trio said the current off leash park is not big enough for dogs and owners. Another issue was that the gravel in the current park is hard on dogs’ feet and it also isn’t draining water well enough. The gates currently at the park don’t close properly and there are also gaps in the fencing which allows smaller dogs to escape.

Accessibility was another issue brought to attention. There is currently no handicapped accessibility or accessible parking.

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At the Council Meeting on April 24th, Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman asked staff to come back to them with information regarding locations and costs associated with a interim and long-term solution.

In a report at the Council Meeting this past Monday, staff presented the options they looked into. While there was some hope that 2017 could see the interim option come to fruition, it appears now that the City would like to hold off until 2018 and work towards a permanent solution.

“Given the estimated expenses, community concerns, and the timing to modify an existing area/park to be utilized as an interim solution, staff are recommending to wait until 2018 to properly design and construct a dog park with appropriate community consultation. In addition, the options identified below have no amenities, such as shade and a water source which should always be considered when constructing a dog park.”

The following options were listed as possible locations for a dog park:

Kin Park Ball Park

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The City didn’t see this option as viable due to the amount of people that use the ball diamonds.

“A review and analysis of the use of these fields demonstrates that they are well used and there would be impacts to ball diamond user groups, in particular with minor baseball who now have over 400 registrants and a league schedule that involves out of town teams travelling into the City. Their schedule is set and the diamonds are well used.”

Park Lane Park

  • ŠApproximate park size – 2,880 square meters. Š 79A Street and 81st Street could be utilized for parking (as there are currently no homes constructed on these streets in the area of Park Lane Park)
  • Approximately $17,500 in fencing
  • Provision of 2 gates – $2,000
  • Estimated costs to convert – $19,500

“On May 15th, twenty-three (23) letters were sent to nearby residents asking for input and feedback on the potential of using this as a interim dog park. Three (3) people responded to the request for feedback with all three indicating they do not want this park being used as a dog park. Concerns were raised regarding hours of operation – noise, lack of lighting, car lights at night shining into homes from parking on 79A and 81 streets. Concerns were also raised that this may reduce the value of the surrounding residential properties.”

Duncan Cran Park

  • ŠApproximate park size – 12,100 square meters
  • A portion of the park next to the lane fronting the park could be utilized for parking
  • $35,000 approximate costs to fence
  • Provision of 2 gates – $2,000
  • Creation of parking area – $5,000
  • Estimated costs to convert – $42,000

“On May 15th, thirty-one (31) letters were sent to nearby residents asking for input and feedback on the potential of using this as a interim dog park. Seven (7) people responded to the request for feedback with six (6) indicating they do not want this park being used as a dog park. Concerns raised were that the park is currently used for adhoc play by kids for football, soccer, Frisbee, kite flying and the overall cost to create a temporary dog park in this area.”

City-Owned property by the Hospital

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  • ŠSize of area – 45,200 square meters
  • $77,000 approximate costs to fence entire area, could go smaller
  • Provision of 2 gates – $2,000
  • Creation of parking space – $5,000
  • Estimated costs to convert – $84,000

There is no capital funding in the 2017 budget identified for a dog park. Staff are recommending establishing a proper project and budget during the 2018 budget discussions.

Nicole Sztabkowski, Lisa Bergman and Kira Baines said on April 24 that their group will help with the planning and costs associated with the park.

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