I would like to respond to the letter submitted to the Times-Herald concerning the dog park. I very much appreciate Mr. Bunnell’s compliments and I, too, believe we have one of the nicest dog parks in the area and many residents of other cities hve made that statement. All of us at ADOG appreciate every volunteer who helps out at the park, cleans up, and promotes our park.
I would like to begin by saying that A.D.O.G., the Alliance Dog Owners’ Group, is a small non-profit that was founded for the creation and upkeep of a safe, off-leash dog park in Alliance. Our concerns are confined to promoting the dog park, hosting events aimed at responsible dog ownership, dog training, and fundraising projects and grant submissions to add amenities to the park and to help keep it aesthetically pleasing as well as functional for its purpose. The park and surrounding area is city property, the land to the south belongs to the school, and ADOG has no control over this property. If someone is parking illegally, that is the concern of the Alliance Police Department, not ADOG.
Mr. Bunnell state in his letter that he was concerned that we “posted rules and regulations for the dog park which is city-owned and taxpayer paid for that do not comply with the city codes for the parks.” As for the “rules and regulations,” we initially researched the guidelines listed for many other parks throughout the country and eventually adopted what we thought were the most important. These guidelines had to be approved by the city attorney and approved by the city’s insurance carrier. During this process, the city changed insurance carriers and information had to be resubmitted. The entire process of establishing these guidelines took about two years. I would also clarify that the construction of the dog park, the fence, the gazebo, the benches, the underground sprinkler system, the water hydrants, the water meter and meter pit, the trees, the rock, etc., were all paid through fundraising and grants, applied for by ADOG, and donations. None of this was paid through taxes. The city does mow, spray weeds and dump the trash. Except for the trash pick-up, the city would have needed to maintain the area whether or not there was a dog park there. The city also now pays for the water that is provided merely to wash away urine and feces and keep the park sanitary. It is not watered on the same schedule as the other city parks.
The next paragraph Mr. Bunnell states that on the day we hauled rock at the dog park, there were no ADOG members present. I was not there, as I was at work, but three of the five members were, in fact, present. ADOG has such appreciation for our volunteers. We couldn’t have accomplished any of this without you. We are eternally grateful for the “regulars” at the park who help to keep it clean and one of the best places to hang out in Alliance. I merely want to ensure that our community understands exactly what they are paying for, how the guidelines came to be posted, and that parking on the street is not in the interests of ADOG and our only concerns are that the park is safe, fun, clean, and a wonderful place to enjoy our town.