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Dog park plan may be a fetching idea
Josie waits her turn as Sadie has a drink at the only pet fountain currently offered by the city of McMinnville. It is located at Riverfront Park. The dogs are at the park with Margaret Hobbs.

An idea of a dog park has not been abandoned by the city of McMinnville.
The city Parks and Recreation Committee has earmarked $20,000 in the proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget of Parks and Recreation Department to establish one.  
“The dog park was taken out of the budget,” said Parks and Recreation Department director Scott McCord.
City officials, with assistance from Friends of the Greenway members, attempted to obtain a $50,000 state tourism grant for the dog park. But the state is keeping a tight leash on its money and the grant was not awarded.
Rocket Park was one of the areas under consideration for placement. Officials are currently awaiting a master plan from Griggs and Maloney, a civil and environmental engineering firm, for renovating that area.
“I think we need to put that back in,” said Alderman Ben Newman. “I think we should be getting our master plan completed. With that we should be able to put the dog park in, wherever we plan for it to go. I think we can leave it down there, but we need it in the budget.”
Alderman Everett Brock said, “I’m still wondering if there’s a need for a dog park.”
“I think so,” said Newman.
Brock added, “I’m just wondering how many people are going to get in their cars and take them down there.”
Rocket Park might be an issue, says Mayor Jimmy Haley.
“Down there could be the issue. I’ve had people tell me they wouldn’t take their dogs down there. They wanted some place that’s a little bit closer.”
Hobbs Park, due to the construction of a walking trail along the Barren Fork River, was also a consideration, but it was tentatively rejected over Rocket Park.
“I think people would take their dogs down there,” said Newman of Rocket Park. “Anywhere we go with it, other than the Civic Center, there’s going to be a lot of driving. I don’t know if we would have enough room at the Civic Center with the skate park going in there and everything else.”
McCord estimates $20,000 would be enough for fence, trash receptacles and a water fountain that caters to humans and animals alike.
“Water fountains would be great to have there but how about other areas,” said Newman. “We have one at Riverfront Park that has the dog bowl at the bottom. A lot of people walk their dogs at the Civic Center along the walking trail. If we can get an attachment or get a new fountain.”
McCord estimated the cost of those at $1,500 each.
Committee members unanimously approved the inclusion of $20,000 for a dog park, as well as $6,000 for the purchase of four dog-friendly water fountains to be placed at other city parks, in the budget of McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department.
Changes can still be made throughout the budget process.