Edgerton residents call for dog park

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Andrea Behling
Saturday, July 5, 2014

EDGERTON—A group of dog owners wants the Edgerton to consider creating a dog park.

“As a dog owner, I felt like there weren't a lot of places I could take a dog off a leash,” Edgerton resident Jonathon Frey said.

Frey requested June 25 the parks and recreation committee consider allowing dogs in at least one of Edgerton's parks.

The change would require park upgrades including fencing, posting of rules, trash receptacles and other amenities, City Administrator Ramona Flanigan said.

It also would require a change in city ordinances that prohibit animals in parks.

Edgerton has an open area where dogs are allowed off Interstate Boulevard in the north business park, but it's not a true dog park, Flanigan said. The land could be developed at any time.

The closest dog parks are in Milton: Tails & Trails Dog Park, 466 Elm St., and Milton Dog Park, 886 W. High St.

The parks and recreation committee was open to starting a conversation and was willing to listen to people's viewpoints about a dog park, Frey said.

Some parks are underutilized, and a dog park might draw more people, Frey argued.

Not everybody likes the idea.

“I don't like stepping in dog poop. Little kids are going to be running and playing. That's a bad situation,” committee member Dave Thomas said.

Flanigan suggested Frey contact a local group raising money for a fenced dog park on city land on Winston Drive. The group got the OK from the parks and recreation committee about two years ago for the $20,000 project.

David Kotwitz, Edgerton, is among those planning the Winston Drive facility. He said organizers have $4,000 in pledges and plan to revitalize fundraising.

The Winston Drive location is an open lot owned by the city between a house and an apartment building. It's about 1.3 acres and semi-wooded, ideal for a dog park, Kotwitz said.

Plans would have to accommodate a playground in the front section of the lot. The park would be double gated to ensure dogs are properly enclosed from the road and playground.

The group hopes to have the park finished next spring.

The planned dog park sounds promising, but the city still needs a more centrally located dog park, Frey said.

“The center part (of Edgerton) is still under served and off limits,” he said.

If an existing city park were to become a dog park, the city would have to be careful with creating a policy, Flanigan said.

"There would be a lot of analysis. There's still a lot of questions to be answered,” she said.

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