Board favors proposed dog park

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Sidney Recreation Board at its recent meeting favored a proposed dog park and discussed a photography contest that would focus on the city parks.

Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier passed out proposed layouts of the potential dog park, according to meeting minutes. The park would be located on city-owned land adjacent to BK Root Beer.

The Parks and Recreation Department was approached by a benefactor who offered to donate $40,000 for a dog park. This contribution will allow the city staff to leverage these funds to acquire grant dollars to complete the $177,411.25 project. The project would include fencing around the whole area, gates and an inside fence to divide a big-dog area from the small-dog area, shelter houses, drinking fountains, trees, waste-bag dispenser, asphalt parking lot with the striping, and signage. To get the park started with just a “bare-bones” plan would cost $55,000. Currently, $4,500 is set aside in memory of Joe Rudy to develop the park as well. The Community Foundation of Shelby County is able to take private donations toward this project, as well as the city of Sidney.

With this contribution comes a request by the benefactors to name the dog park after them, Gaier said. At this time the donors would like to remain anonymous, but would be identified once the park is established; their names would be placed on a sign at the park entrance. Naming parks after land donors has occurred at some other city parks. While this would not be a land donation, there would be a significant donation of funds for the park development. Gaier requested that the board vote on the question of naming of the dog park and the location. The board voted unanimously to name the dog park after the donors and to approve the location.

After the board’s action, Sidney City Council discussed the dog park at its first meeting in October. While council members liked the idea, they thought another site might be better. Council directed directed Gaier to continue working on the plan and to study other city-owned land.

Gaier gave the board information about the possibility of having a photo contest to take place within the city parks.

The contest would have three categories: nature, animals, and friends and family. The board would judge contest entries.

The board discussed issues related to the contest, including rules, who could enter, how the city would obtain the photographs, and the need to see how other communities handle such a project.

The board passed a motion to table the project until the February meeting to work out the details.

In other business, the board learned that Ross Castings and Innovations on Kuther Road has adopted Deam Park in the city’s adopt-a-park program. The company’s new owners are encouraging their employees to give back to the community. After reviewing several parks, RCI decided on Deam. Their plans are to paint, trim, and mulch under the play equipment.

Each contract for adopt-a-park projects is for one year with an option to renew. Currently, the department has five sites that have been adopted. Gaier said he would like to see this expand to have most if not all the city parks adopted by companies, agencies, groups, families and others. Anyone interested in more information about adopting a park should call the Parks and Recreation Department.

Staff report