Bluefield residents outraged by dog park proposal - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield residents outraged by dog park proposal

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BLUEFIELD, W. Va (WVVA)-- An area city explores the possibility of opening a dog park.

The proposed plan outlines a space for a dog park at the current Fairview Park, located between Rockbridge and Shenandoah streets in Bluefield.

While some believe a dog park would be an asset to the community, others fear it could be a danger to citizens.

Parks and Recreation director Dwight Godwin led the city's public comment session Tuesday. He said  his department would run the park, and it would be patpatrolled officers. Dog owners would need valid licenses and vaccination records to be able to use it.
Godwin outlined what he says are benefits to the plan: "It provides a positive outlet for dogs to exercise and socialize, [and] it promotes responsible ownership. If you have an animal, you want to be responsible for it. It creates a sense of community," he said.
He added that i
t would be fenced, with a double-gated entrance, and the proposed location would provide at least an acre of space.

While some city officials support the idea, opponents are upset. They said they don't want it so close to their homes.

"A dog park in a residential area with children?" asked Kelly Hale, outraged by the proposal. "That's just [crazy] to me. I have been so upset about this I have not been able to sleep."

Others argued the proposed dog park could mean more dogs on the loose in their neighborhood, more noise, and more traffic. Some asked the city to come up with an alternate location, instead of one in a residential area.

Officials say grants are available to offset the $20,000 cost.

Planning for the park is still in Phase 1, and in no way set in stone. Tuesday was first of what Godwin said will be several opportunities for public comment about the proposal.
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