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Dogs, your time off-leash is coming

Two off-leash dog parks planned inside the city of Sandy


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - POST PHOTO: JIM HART Chris Corbin walks his dog, Mary, on a leash in Sandy Bluff Park while pushing his daughter, Summer. Sandy dog owners, your time is coming. Hope is not lost.

Sandy residents who have wanted to take their dogs off the leash (at least legally) and let them run will see their hope become reality.

Dog parks are being planned at Meinig and Sandy Bluff parks. All that is needed, initially, is fencing to allow the animals to run free (in confinement).

But to pay for that fencing is not a slam dunk.

Normally, funding would come from the fees charged developers who build homes and add population to the city. The fees are to pay for the development of parks for those new residents.

But since the building balloon popped, said Community Services Director Nancy Enabnit, there hasn’t been much new construction and, therefore, not many fees collected.

A fundraiser is being planned that organizers are calling “Bark for the Park.” The event will occur on Saturday, May 18, and should be a tail-wagging affair.

Enabnit said the committee will be certain to make it a fun event.

Organizing this event during the next two weeks is a committee that includes Carol Cohen, Sarah Richardson, Julie Snell, Stephanie Craven, Kim Yamashita, Enabnit and Sara Reis.

Construction drawings are already done for the area at Meinig Park, which Enabnit says is in the park’s upper area, which has some trees that dogs love.

Some people are already using an area on the west side of Sandy Bluff Park for their dogs, but when they take them off their leash that action is illegal.

A fence will solve that issue as well as dog owners who put their animal back on a leash whenever an aggressive or larger dog is near.

Following the planning stage, the committee will lack only the money to buy materials and labor to install the fence.

“The main thing we are lacking is the money,” Enabnit said. “All we are going to do (initially) is put up a heavy-gauge, chain-link fence and two gates. The other things usually found in dog parks will be organized by a dog-advocate committee.”

That will require some more fundraising because city funds from home-building fees will first be used to complete projects already started such as Bornstedt Park.

Enabnit said she wants to see the city contribute a “good-faith showing of some money,” but she said it would be minimal compared to the amount needed to fence areas in two city parks.

“We have some memorial (trust) donations in a fund that is collecting interest,” she said. “There is some money, but not nearly enough.”

Enabnit is fairly certain that a dog park is a high priority for a lot of residents.

Returns of the city’s current survey are just starting to come in, but she expects a dog park to be one of the top two needs that local residents will express.