Park Board Hears Support For Dog Park Fee


Published on March 7 2013 2:51 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham Park Board members are looking at developing a dog park on land donated to the Park District north of Evergreen Hollow Park.  A local resident told park commissioners Wednesday that a fee should be charged to use the dog park.

Jennifer Olsen suggested the Board should institute the fee.  Park District Director Jeff Althoff said Olsen's point was that a fee might encourage ownership and responsibility in the dog park.  Althoff said there are already people who let their dogs run loose on balldiamonds in district park; similar practices at the dog park could be anticipated unless the fee is established.

Althoff said the annual fee would not be more than $25; commissioners did not decide on the fee to be charged, if a fee is instituted.

Althoff said the Board agreed to apply for a matching grant that could pay for some of the work on the land north of Evergreen Hollow.  In addition to the dog park, the Park Board is considering building a couple of practice diamonds or soccer fields on the property.  The grant would pay up to $400,000.

Althoff said baseball and softball registration numbers for the coming season are pretty good, especially considering the recent cooler weather.  He also said the Park District is likely to curtail operating hours at the Kluthe Memorial Pool this season, likely from 12:30 to 7pm.  He said most daily swimmers have left by 7pm and said the earlier closing for open swimming would leave the pool available longer hours for rent.

Althoff also said the District is considering leaving the pool open an extra week after Labor Day and perhaps celebrate a Bring Your Pet to the Pool on the final day of the season to coincide with the dog park.