Dog Park Talks Resurface

ST. MARYS — Discussion of the addition of a dog park in the city of St. Marys got kick started again on Monday.

Members of the St. Marys Parks and Playground Committee voted to send a recommendation to city council to discuss the option of adding a park to K.C. Geiger Park. Chair Robin Willoughby brought the issue to the committee for further discussion after receiving comments from residents asking for a dog park.

“It’s been in the works for a long time,” Willoughby said. “Ever since we’ve had the leash law here in St. Marys, we’ve had people concern about it and wanting to exercise their dogs. I have petitions with people’s signatures wanting a dog park.”

One of the early favorites for the dog park was at Kiwanis Park, along Beech Street. However, Willoughby said the idea was nixed because of it being located in a residential area.

“I feel it’s time to move forward about finding some place and getting a dog park established,” Willoughby said. “The people in our town and surrounding areas seem like they have to go to Celina.”

One of the possible areas discussed was near the trestle heading to the park.

Willoughby said there are two baskets from the disc golf course in that area. Another possible location was near diamond No. 9.

City Law Director Kraig Noble said a dog park could fit into further plans for the park, which includes a walking path around K.C. Geiger Park. Interim Safety-Service Director Craig Moeller said the area near diamond No. 9 is used for soccer.

“It would be nice to have it in the K.C. Geiger area somewhere,” committee member John Bubp said.

“Everyone goes there and lot of people do have their dogs out there walking. I think if you can find a spot out there, it would be a great place to have it.”

Mayor Pat McGowan encouraged Willoughby to investigate the matter further by compiling a budget.

“Basically we would need some fencing,” Willoughby said, noting there would be separate areas for small and large dogs.

Bubp noted the park should have some signs that outline the park’s rules as well as a dispenser for bags to clean up animal waste. He compared the possible park to a facility located along Grand Lake St. Marys in Celina.

Other locations discussed were Kuck’s Cove and the former landfill property. Committee members shot down the landfill property as being too far out of the city and Kuck’s Cove was rejected because it is in a residential area.