Bonney Lake’s dog park is here to stay – at least for the near future.
The city has no plans to close the park, said City Administrator Don Morrison.
However, there are no funds for expanding it included in the proposed 2012 budget. The City Council is expected to ratify a 2012 budget on Dec. 13.
City officials said earlier this year that the fate of Viking Park, which was launched on a trial basis in September 2010, likely would be decided when the council adopted its 2012 budget. The budget does not specifically earmark funds for the dog park; instead, any anticipated expensesare wrapped into the general park maintenance budget, Morrison said.
“Before long – not this year, but perhaps early next year – it will be put on the agenda to see if we want to make it officially permanent,” Morrison said. “We’ll probably do that just to resolve the question (of whether the dog park is here to stay).”
The city has done some work on the park this fall. Recent changes include new parking stalls and planting vegetation along the park’s eastern fence to provide courtesy screening and a noise buffer for the sole residence that abuts the park. The other borders of the park face a street, woods and Bonney Lake Elementary, which greatly reduces the potential for complaints from park neighbors, Morrison said.
Morrison said the park is popular and well used.
“I think it’s been very well received,” he said.
Former park board member Fred Jacobsen is an advocate of the park, though he does not own a dog.
“I think it’s a great thing to have,” he said. “A lot of people were going in and out of there (during his last visit) and the dogs were having a good time.
"I sure wouldn’t close the thing.
In fact, Jacobsen would like to see the city budget funds to open a second dog park, which is not part of the proposed spending plan for 2012.
“I think they need to bring another dog park into the city,” he said. “Probably a little more central; somewhere over behind the Albertson’s area.”
But Morrison said that is unlikely in the near future.
“There hasn’t been any discussion to expand it or … relocate it,” he said. “I don’t think the park board or the council is going to pick that up.”