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Dog park proposed for Marion County Lake

Staff writer

Marion County Park and Lake is the newest proposed site of a dog park Marion’s girl scouts have been working on for months.

The original proposed site was south of the Marion High School football stadium.

When that didn’t work, the girl scout troop got permission to install it across the street from Ann’s Park on N. Roosevelt St.

The troop’s fence installer said water drainage would cause a problem there, so the troop asked Marion council members if the dog park could be installed at Ann’s Park.

Although council members were OK with that, the parks and recreation commission gave the proposal a thumbs-down.

“The park commission decided they weren’t happy with it because wasn’t a big enough area,” scout leader Brenda Soyez said.

Park and lake superintendent Isaac Hett told commissioners Monday he and Soyez are discussing an area at the lake once used as a baseball diamond.

Commissioners appeared receptive to the idea, although the county would have responsibility for keeping the dog park mowed.

They area would also need a water supply, Hett said.

“I don’t know what it might take to get water out there,” Hett told commissioners.

“My big concern was just liability,” Hett said, adding that he’s been told any liability related to dogs is on the dog owner, not the county.

Soyez said she’s pleased with that prospective location.

“I think all around we’ll be better off at the county lake anyway,” she said. “Isaac said a lot of people come out to the county lake and walk their dogs there. I think it will be more accessible and a lot more people will use it.”

Soyez said Hett told her many dog-walkers at the lake come after dark, park their cars along the street, and walk along the side of the road.

“It will let them get off the road,” Soyez said.

Soyez said she was pleased Hett was willing to do the mowing and maintenance of the dog park.

Soyez said the cadette troop decided to develop a dog park because their interest in veterinary medicine made an animal project appealing.

“We’re anxious to get a location locked down and get to work on it,” Soyez said.

But securing a proper place for the park has been frustrating.

“I tried not to let my irritation with the whole process show to the girls,” Soyez said.

For months, the troop has raised money through cookie sales, nuts and candy sales, a booth at Art in the Park, a soup supper in connection to Marion’s Christmas parade, and the like. The money will be used to buy a fence, cleanup bags, and signage.

Soyez said fencing costs $4,000 an acre.

“We have received a few donations to help out, too,” Soyez said. “Two of the top donations came from people who live at the county lake, so it’s kind of interesting that we’re looking at putting it out there.”

Hett said the county lake can supply benches and trash cans for the dog park.

Last modified Jan. 9, 2020

 

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