For a very long time residents of Ashcroft have been trying to have an Off-Leash Dog Park created for locals and visitors with dogs.
In March 2015 a group made a presentation to council, promoting a site in the Pool Park. The proposal was “let us help the Village establish a dog park by fundraising and taking the lead”. Council appointed a Standing Committee to investigate the idea. Their recommendation was not acted upon.
In March 2017, another Standing Committee was established. This Committee produced a brochure, held stakeholder meetings, and hosted a public meeting to gauge public support. The result was public support for the Off-Leash Dog Park. Council approved of a dog park at the south end of Railway Avenue and also approved the idea of a Memorandum of Understanding with a group to assist the Village with fundraising, construction, and ongoing management.
In April 2019, the same group made another presentation asking the Village to get the approved MOU established. Council approved establishing the MOU. In June 2019, Village staff emailed a draft MOU suggesting two MOUs and required the group to become a registered society.
We are disappointed in how this project has been managed by this and previous councils. Five years have passed and we are no closer to a dog park. For two elections and one by-election every council candidate has said they favoured the project, and still nothing has been accomplished.
Council’s fall open house identified the dog park as an emerging issue. It is hard to accept that caption, given the work that has been done for council by Standing Committees. However, it appears to accurately capture the priority council has given to the project.
There appear to be no council members paying attention to whether this project is advancing or what sort of obstacles are being put in the way of progress.
The requirement for the establishment of a registered society is unnecessary. It would require us to become legally responsible as Society Directors. This would introduce costs and effort and would not assist us in anyway in getting the project completed, just more bureaucracy.
We have concluded that this obstacle prevents us participating any further.
Kitty Murray, Vivian Edwards,
Edie Dibley , Monty Downs