Another Omaha metro area city is considering a dog park.
The consensus of the Plattsmouth City Council was for the city administrator to sit down with the Happy Paws Animal Advocacy Group of Plattsmouth to work on a memorandum of understanding. The main concern: maintenance of the park.
The Cassgram reports Happy Paws is proposing an off-leash dog park at the site of the old swimming pool east of the Legion baseball field on 4th Avenue.
“Dogs and dog owners are no longer a group to be overlooked,’” read a handout presentation from Happy Paws. “As a specific group with special interests and concerns, dog owners deserve the same consideration as other community groups when allocating funding and resources.” The group called attention to the recreation space the city provides for soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, skateboarding, tennis and swimming.
The dog park would be fenced, double-gated, posted with signs stating park rules and cleaning supplies for pet waste pickup would be provided, said Happy Paws.
Happy Paws is in the process of acquiring money for the fencing through grants and fundraising events.
City Councilman Steve Riese reported he’s received “positive responses” on the concept of a dog park in the city.
From the city’s perspective, City Administrator Erv Portis said “the number one concern is maintenance,” pointing out that there are fewer park employees and fewer resources than five years ago. The members of Happy Paws attending the city council meeting indicated their willingness to help out with some parts and costs of the maintenance. “I really think we can get something worked out” if the city and Happy Paws can develop an MOU in the next few weeks, said Portis.
There are other things to consider too such as dogs being leashed while getting to the park. “We have a dog ordinance on the books,” noted City Councilwoman Jeanie Brookhouser, and if that is enforced and warnings issued, “it will make a difference.”