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Dog park construction wins council's approval

Innisfail’s off-leash dog park will soon become a reality after the proposal received town council approval on July 11. The 2.

Innisfail’s off-leash dog park will soon become a reality after the proposal received town council approval on July 11.

The 2.8-acre park, which will be located just north of Centennial Park and directly west of the Innisfail Cemetery, will cost an estimated $19,800 ($13,800 for fencing consisting of 4”x4” wood posts and non-climb farm fence mesh; $4,000 for amenities including garbage cans, dog bag receptacles and benches; and $2,000 for park signage). Town council had approved $30,000 in the 2011 Capital Budget for the project.

The process began in November when more than 75 people attended an information meeting to share their ideas of what they would like to see in the local dog park. Another 20 people attended an open house at Dr. George/Kemp House on July 7.

Coun. Heather Taylor was in attendance at the open house and said only one person was against the proposal, with that person saying the dog owners should be responsible for the cost of the park’s construction. She said a few of residents of Aspen Heights Way – which is situated due north of the park – worried that the park’s fencing would be unsightly and reduce the value of area homes.

“I don’t think this is unsightly,” she said. “And besides, I think most of it is going to be blocked out by trees.”

Taylor said the park could be moved slightly to the east to better hide it from view. Some residents were also concerned that the area would see an increase in parked cars because of the park.

“Well, we can’t stop that,” Taylor said.

Numerous sites were examined and the one selected was the only one that would be suitable for the off-leash area, Taylor explained, noting the park had to be on town-owned land.

“There is nothing this big, anywhere,” she said. “This is pretty much it as far as size.”

Innisfail Mayor Jim Romane said the park would be located on top of an old landfill, which limits the type of development that can occur.

“It’s on an area that can’t be used for any other purpose,” Romane said.

Coun. Brian Spiller made the motion to approve the construction of the park, with Taylor seconding the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.