A proposed dog park in Clintonville didn’t get a majority of the council to favor it, sending the idea back to the Parks and Recreation Committee.
At the Clintonville City Council meeting Tuesday, April 14, Justin Mc Auly, Parks and Recreation director, presented a new location for the dog park. The new location proposed is north of the C.A.W.S. facility in Clintonville.
“The nice thing about this is we are looking at roughly three and a half to four acres, which is about the same size as the Brown County dog park,” Mc Auly said.
He said this location should also ease the Blastomycosis concerns.
The locations presented previously were at the Pigeon Lake Wayside and Bucholtz Park.
Mc Auly said he was bringing to the council for approval the idea of building a dog park in Clintonville.
Alderman Jim Krause said he had reservations about a dog park because no one has researched the problems of a dog park.
“I really don’t think we should proceed with this until some research work has been done,” Krause said. “… As it stands right now, I don’t want any vote on this thing. Not now. It’s too early in the game.”
Alderwoman Gloria Dunlavy, who is also the chairwoman of the Parks & Recreation Committee, said the council wasn’t being asked to approve a proposed dog park or a site yet. She said the council is just being asked to approve letting the person who approached the city about a dog park to start fundraising for one.
“All we’re doing is starting the ball rolling and giving someone permission to start fundraising so we can actually look at the options,” Dunlavy said.
Dunlavy said a dog park wouldn’t actually be built for probably three or four years.
Alderwoman Mary-Beth Kuester suggested appointing an ad hoc committee to look into the idea.
Mc Auly told the council he was seeking approval to allow the person who approached the city about the dog park to start fundraising. He was not seeking approval of funds for a dog park.
“She’s very passionate about it. She wants to go forward and start asking businesses, start asking for other private donations to get the ball rolling,” Mc Auly said.
Mc Auly acknowledged it could be several years before a dog park is built.
Alderwoman Lois Bressette said she thought the Parks & Recreation Committee is capable of handling the issue. She didn’t feel an ad hoc committee needed to be formed.
Dunlavy made a motion to allow fundraising for a proposed dog park.
Clintonville City Clerk Peggy Johnson asked if a special fund would be created. She also asked what happens to the funds if enough funds aren’t raised to build a dog park.
Clintonville City Attorney April Dunlavy recommended the council first gather all the needed information regarding a dog park before it begins fundraising.
Mc Auly said he had already done most of the research.
Kuester suggested sending it back to the Parks & Recreation Committee.
Gloria Dunlavy amended her motion to allow research to be done regarding a proposed dog park. The research findings would be presented to the Parks & Recreation Committee and then brought back to the council.
Bressette asked Mc Auly what his expectation was with the dog park agenda item.
“I wanted to approve the idea of going forward with a dog park,” Mc Auly said.
Kuester said she thought the council needed more specifics before approving going forward with a dog park.
The council voted on the motion to “approve the idea of a dog park.”
The council voted 5-2 to pass the motion, with Kuester and Krause voting no. Aldermen Mark Doornink, Bill Zeinert, and John Wilson were excused from the meeting. Since the motion didn’t receive at least six votes, it was defeated.
After the vote Gloria Dunlavy expressed her disappointment with the council.
“I’m disappointed in the council itself right now,” she said.
She added, “I feel we’re quagmired in a big mud hole right now because nobody wants to look to the future.”
Mayor Judy Magee suggested Gloria Dunlavy reintroduce the topic at the next Parks & Recreation Committee meeting, and bring it back to the council.