Dog owner concerned about new off-leash area

Dog owner concerned about new off-leash area

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(The following letter is regarding the new off-leash dog area in Lion’s Park.)

The location is not at all convenient for older folks. It puts elderly people in a position to have to drive. Additionally, I was down there recently and the garbage cans are over flowing, there were no doggy bags in the dispensers at either of the parks and the signage was offensive. Something about “the park being closed if those that use the park don’t look after their pet waste.”
I just don’t understand the efficacy of threatening the very taxpayers that make these parks financially possible.

Accessibility: How is this park accessible to the elderly and in particular the disabled? The Canadian courts have steadfastly held that public facilities must all be accessible, in part and as a whole, to those who are confined to a wheelchair or an electric scooter. I have seen both at the original ball diamond off-lease park. This part of the park is clearly not accessible.

Carol Sheridan’s comments about the positive reception of the public (the story about Rosco): I am not sure where she is getting her information from but the vast majority of the users that I have spoken to, maybe 100, are overwhelmingly negative; many vehemently so.

Washroom facilities: Spoke to one user that was denied access to the park office restroom facilities as the regular relief facilities are now closed for the winter. I know of two users that have soiled themselves as a result and I saw a well dressed elderly gentleman who was making his way up from the river with a bag of human waste, his own as he had no dog with him. He made a comment that he was lucky to have found a bag to clean up his mess. Is this really how we want to treat the elderly and the disabled?

Oliver Parks and Recreation might want to consider a revised maintenance schedule for the two port-a-pottys that do exist in Lion’s Park, they are and have been full. Please don’t remove them as a punitive measure.

Do we really want to talk about peoples’ reluctance to enter this area given the crime that is associated with the drug trade that goes on there?

The grounds at this location have been extremely muddy, there is standing water present in and around the area. Come spring, if last year’s runoff is any indication, this whole area will be under water for who knows how many weeks.

I do not think that single use ball fields laying fallow for most of the year makes any sense. No facility or business that I am aware of restricts itself in this manner. Just not an efficient use of public property or funds.

It appears that little effort was expended to ascertain the feelings of that part of the public that is utilizing that portion of the facility, either before that decision was made nor since. Oliver parks keeps very close track of the utilization numbers for the ice facilities, the pool and even the weight room. Targeting an intern to spend a couple of weeks over the spring/summer interviewing and recording the comments of users would have gone a long ways towards not only defining the demographic but also their wishes.

I submit that any public entity should keep in mind that they have a duty to all the people they serve.

Michael Guthrie, Oliver

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