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Town of St. Paul to hold open house on proposed off-leash dog park

On July 9, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Town of St. Paul will hold an open house at the Recreation Centre to identify the location of a proposed dog park. 

ST. PAUL – On July 9, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Town of St. Paul will hold an open house at the Recreation Centre to identify the location of a proposed dog park. 

According to information from the Town, the project “aims to create a safe and engaging space where residents and their canine companions can socialize, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors together.” 

Mayor Maureen Miller says the dog park was an initiative that started about six years ago following a survey about recreation and accessibility to outdoor activities in the community. 

“One of the primary requests of us was to provide a dog park,” she said. 

But the mayor explained the are several factors to consider in moving the project forward including construction funding, operational costs, and the size of the area. There is also the challenge of finding a proper location. 

The Town is taking steps to address these issues and is looking for public input on the project during an upcoming open house.

Those who cannot attend can provide their input online at: 

Steve Martineau, project manager for the Town of St. Paul, says after an earlier public engagement on where to locate the dog park, they narrowed the options down to Kendelstick Park and Elks Park. 

He invites the public to come out during the open house for them to gather more public input before a final decision is made for the location. 

When asked about the funding for the project, Martineau clarified that grant application is the next process. 

Once a location has been identified, the plan is to apply for the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP). A provincial grant that provides financial assistance of up to “$125,000 to upgrade, expand, purchase or build public-use community facilities,” according to the Government of Alberta website. 

Martineau explained construction of the park depends on government funding. “It’s not like the Town of St. Paul has a bank of money they can just dip into, and create new arenas or dog parks, and whatever else they want, right? It’s dependent on funding,” he said. 

And creating a strong grant application to increase the chance of approval requires public engagement sessions like the open house. 

“We want to have as much good input and strengthen the application as best as we possibly can to demonstrate the need for the dog park in the community,” explained Martineau, as well as demonstrate that money would be managed responsibly. 

“We all know that a dog park in the community is better than having dogs running around on the streets,” concluded Martineau. 

Mario Cabradilla

About the Author: Mario Cabradilla

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