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Ordinance change in works to allow dog use at Lions Park

GRANGEVILLE – Dogs may get the run of the east side of Grangeville Lions Park, pending an ordinance change to be considered by the city.

Following discussion at Monday’s Feb. 2, Grangeville City Council meeting, consensus was for city attorney Adam Green to draft an ordinance change allowing dogs at the park, east of Three Mile Creek and adjacent to the truck route. As proposed, this exception to city ordinance, which currently prohibits dogs in city parks, would apply only to Lions Park and in this location; other code requirements regarding animals be leashed or under control would remain in effect.

This proposed change initiated from a proposal by businessman Kevin Asker who offered to pay half the costs for installation of dog waste stations at the park where, historically, people have taken canines to run and play.

“People are using this park with their dogs anyway,” Asker said. “I’d just like to see it get a little better by putting up dog waste stations.”

Police Chief Morgan Drew said reviewing calls within the past two years came up with no problems regarding dogs in parks, apart from one incident with a habitual offender. Historically, this is where residents have taken dogs, and he said that with appropriate signage the east side was a good compromise, which allowed police to provide a recreation option to those caught with dogs in other city parks.

But could this encourage use that leads to a dog waste problem? Asker and also public works director Jeff McFrederick commented they had not seen an issue at the park, noting that pet owners have generally been responsible in cleaning up after their pets. Supported by Councilor Wes Lester and Mayor Bruce Walker was a “healthy fine,” prominently noted on park signs, to encourage compliance.

“It just takes two or three fines [posted] in the newspaper for people to get the hint,” Drew said, for individuals who may be habitual offenders or new to the area and “who need to know the drill.”

The proposed ordinance was to be considered at an upcoming council meeting. Discussion varied between supporting and waiting on station installation; no decision was made.


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