Prince Rupert council looking into dog park options

Dog owners in Prince Rupert have been asking for a dog park for a time and council is looking into what would be involved in opening one.

Dog owners in Prince Rupert have been asking for a dog park for a time and council is now looking into just what would be involved in opening one inside the city.

At the council meeting last week, city staff presented councillors with a report that gives a three  possible options for opening a dog park.

The first option staff came up with would be to redevelop one of the school district’s many vacant school properties. Staff point out that this option has some potential drawbacks, such as the cost of construction, maintenance and other liabilities.

The second option is to turn one of the under-used baseball parks, such as Crestview, Kootenay or Doug Kerr fields, into a park. Based on their preliminary research the city staff estimated that it will cost $65,000  to convert a baseball park into a dog park, and cost $5,000 a year to maintain.

Doug Kerr Field is the option bearing the most consideration because, as city manager Gord Howie points out, the mostly abandoned baseball field is already being used as a dog park by many people. The cost to convert any of the three baseball fields is estimated to be about the same.

The third option is to fence-off a portion of McClymont park and trail along Hays Creek. Staff estimated that to create a dog park there would cost $95,000 and cost an extra $15,000 year from the city’s parks budget. And that doesn’t even cover the cost of fixing some drainage issues and putting lighting on the trail.

“The difference in the cost is that while the existing ballparks have maintenance crews in the area that can assimilate it into the current works, but this would be a new cost,” says city planner Zeno Krekic.

Many councillors felt that the staff’s cost estimates were far more expensive that they thought it should be.

“I’m trying to wrap my head around how it would cost $65,000 to turn Doug Kerr field into  a dog park,” says Councillor Anna Ashley.

The city planner explained that the field would need a new six-foot fence, a controlled entrance, signs  and money to cover the city’s liability for running the park.  Despite this explanation, councillors remained incredulous about the cost of a park.

“I’m still trying to figure out the $65,000, that just doesn’t add up for me,” says Ashley.

Councillor Gina Garon suggested that perhaps the dog park was a luxury that the City can’t afford right now.

Councillor Ashley suggested if they used the much more isolated McClymont park they could save money by not having a fence. Krekic said that if the City was going to run an off-leash dog park, it had a responsibility to have it secured because of its proximity to residences and a trail used by some who might not like dogs.

Ashley pointed out that other municipalities have dog parks with no fence and some with only a regular  four-foot fence and some only off-leash during certain times of the day. She argued that the City should look into how these places manage their liability before deciding to pay for an expensive six-foot fence.

Council decided to have staff research some implementable options for turning either Doug Kerr field or McClymont park into a dog park , or possibly both.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Port of Prince Rupert has experienced another year of increased cargo volumes, shipped through the city, with more than $50 billion in international trade facilitated through the area, the Port Authority announced on Jan. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Port cargo volume growth continues despite pandemic obstacles

Prince Rupert Port authority announces $50 billion in international trade

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

Face masks are required to be worn in all SD 52 common areas such as hallways. School District 52 announced on Jan. 15 three different schools in Prince Rupert all had a member of the school community test positive for COVID-19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
3 Prince Rupert schools have positive COVID-19 case(s)

Letters sent home to families in three Prince Rupert schools announcing COVID-19

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read