Dog park plans to be revisited

PERU - The Friends of Peru Dog Park is picking up where it left off more than three years ago.

The committee, headed up by town resident Ann Wilke, is once again examining plans to establish a dog park at the site of the former Heyworth Village, located in the hamlet off State Route 22, along the Little Ausable River. The idea for an off-leash park was formally presented to the Peru Town Council in August 2007, and was met largely with positive feedback, Wilke said. However, resistance to the idea from at least one former council member is what caused a slowdown in the project moving forward, she noted.

"Unfortunately, everything was put on hold due to town board difficulties," Wilke said.

The new make-up of the board has been "very supportive of the dog park project," she added, as council members "eagerly await hearing about new developments and progress with it."

The overall cost of the project has not been determined, though the initial expense for basic materials was estimated at more than $14,000. Regardless, the cost to make the park a reality is one that will not be shouldered by taxpayers, Wilke emphasized, adding town employees would be responsible for maintaining the park once open. Donations of materials for the project such as fencing and benches have either been or are in the process of being secured.

"As time progressed, it became evident that most of these materials could be donated by local individuals and businesses, as has been done in many of the dog parks around the U.S.," Wilke said. "We have already received a couple of donations, but the word is hardly out."

One way the committee is hoping to attract donations toward the project is by devising a way to recognize those who contribute.

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