Clovis dog park meeting gets heated

The City of Clovis held a public meeting in early May to discuss dog parks. The meeting focused on the current timeline for a permanent facility and the possibility of a temporary dog park. (Pixabay)

Tempers flared when the City of Clovis held a meeting on May 1 to discuss dog parks. The meeting, held at the Clovis City Council Chambers, gave the public a chance to share their thoughts about a temporary dog park which would be used until the city builds a permanent dog park.

“It’s going to be some time before the permanent dog park is built, so we’re asking if you want a temporary one before the permanent one is built,” Clovis parks manager Eric Aller said.

Not everybody agreed with the idea of a temporary dog park.

“I would really prefer going forward with the permanent dog park and not the temporary dog park,” said Michelle Jenkins, who was the most vocal of the residents at the meeting.

Jenkins said she started the petition for a dog park a year ago, but didn’t agree with the proposed plan presented at the meeting.

As the city presented two possible options for a temporary dog park in Clovis, Jenkins continued to raise questions about both options throughout the presentation.

One option for the temporary dog park is Bicentennial Park, located on the northwest corner of Sunnyside and Sierra avenues.

Jenkins said Bicentennial Park is a concern because it has standing water which could lead to disease for dogs.

The second option presented at the meeting was Letterman Park, located on the northwest area of Villa and Barstow.

Jenkins said Letterman Park is a bad choice because the skate park nearby can disturb the dogs.

“My concern is that they chose dog parks that are going to have issues with both the skate park and the water concern with possible disease for our dogs at Bicentennial,” Jenkins said. “Given that we have no other choices for the temporary and that it’s going to be so close to the permanent, I think it would make sense to just move forward with the permanent dog park.”

As Jenkins raised questions about the two options, Aller explained that residents are welcome to propose other ideas outside of the two options presented at the meeting.
Aller said the city proposed the two parks because they are centrally located, some areas of the parks haven’t been used and there are water and restrooms nearby.

“We’re going to look at all the options. We want to do what’s best for the community,” Aller said.

The temporary dog park would have a small dog area, a large dog area, waste bags, a sign with the rules and a bench, Aller said.

Some residents grew weary as Jenkins continued to press the issue. One resident said the city is doing its best to make the best possible dog park and suggested that Jenkins should keep her dogs home if she doesn’t like the parks. The resident’s comment was met with applause from a large part of the crowd.

Aller said the public’s concerns will be considered before a final decision is made.

Tomas Kassahun
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