This approved design for the Valemount dog park fall well within the Village’s $50K budget. /VILLAGE OF VALEMOUNT

By Abigail Popple, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, RMG

Valemount Council has approved a roughly $32K proposal for a dog park in the village, equating to a property tax increase of 1.7 per cent. This comes after a six-figure proposal was turned down at a regular Council meeting in February.

Valemount residents used the ball field at John Osadchuk park as a temporary dog park throughout last winter. However, this solution proved unsuccessful as users did not properly clean up after their dogs, according to previous staff reports about the park. As such, Village staff began exploring the option of using the undeveloped portion of John Osadchuk park to install a dog park.

Urban Systems Dog park design
The proposed dog park design created by Urban Systems came in at $375,000 — nearly eight times the proposed $50,000 budget for the dog park./ URBAN SYSTEMS

Village staff contracted Urban Systems to propose a dog park within a $50,000 budget, later receiving a proposal that totaled over $375K. During their February 27th meeting, Council moved to send the proposal back to staff to find a more affordable option.

The new proposal, designed by Village staff, includes two fenced areas, clean-up stations, and picnic tables. Unlike the previous proposal, which budgeted just over $45K for plants and over $67K for a growing medium, the new proposal will not add vegetation. The Village will spend a little over five thousand dollars each year on regular clean-up and other maintenance, according to the staff report.

The approved plan would see a dog park built in an undeveloped area of John Osadchuk Park. /VILLAGE OF VALEMOUNT

Councillor Pete Pearson asked whether it would be possible to alter the proposal to include a two-gate entrance, to reduce the risk of dogs running outside of the park when another person enters. Village planner Krista Etty clarified that the configuration of the fences could be changed to accommodate a double gate. She added that staff has budgeted plenty of money for the fencing so the cost of a second gate could be covered.

Council moved to approve that staff move forward with the proposed dog park plan.