Gimli dog committee hoping to open dog park

Scott Carman of the Gimli Dog Committee discusses the town’s proposed dog park as fellow committee member Brenda Filby looks on during the RM of Gimli council meeting on March 27. Nathan Liewicki / Interlake Spectator

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GIMLI — The RM of Gimli could have its own dog park as soon as this summer.

Council heard from the Gimli Dog Advisory Committee’s delegation of Scott Carman, Brenda Filby and Stefanie Johnson during a presentation inside council chambers on March 27, and it was well received by the members.

“There are a lot of dogs in Gimli and a lot of people bring them from Winnipeg, so this is going to be a win-win for everybody,” mayor Lynn Greenberg said. “It’s good to see that you are doing some fundraising, not just relying on RM of Gimli taxpayers.”

“For a start-up committee, you guys have done some good work,” Coun. Peter Holfeuer added.

In fact, the three aforementioned members of the dog committee — council passed By-law 19-0002 following the presentation, thereby formally establishing the committe — have been working together for approximately three years as a citizens-on-patrol-like group.

The committee interacted with former mayor Randy Woroniuk about the possibility of forming a committee and possibly creating a dog park.

Five-plus months after a new Gimli council was voted in, Carman and company are pushing hard to bring the town its first dog park, which, if approved, would include a large fenced-in area west of Highway 9 (Seventh Avenue) and north of Solvin Road for dogs to run around in. There would be a section for small dogs and another for big dogs.

“We’ve been looking at a site plan with approximate dimensions for a fenced-in area for the dog park,” Carman said. “We have talked with this committee about the amenities and how we would like to see it come together. Brenda has approached a few local businesses to get cost estimates for some of the fencing and gravel that would be required for the park … and we’ve discussed a pretty comprehensive fundraising plan. 

“We understand that (council is) on board for some matching funds in 2019 and we appreciate that. We are also looking at some ways that we can raise money to contribute to the park.”

One such idea is having a summer festival or event in town that centres around man’s best friend.

“We think we have a really solid plan to bring some money together for this dog park,” Carman added.

“We’re hoping the first phase can involve the fenced-in area so we can actually get the dog park operational, and then we can include other amenities for neighbourhood children and the public at large,” he continued. “We just want to use the green space … and there’s a walking path we’ve discussed and landscaping down the road.”

Carman and Filby visited residences in the Vesterlund neighbourhood on March 26, presenting them with a letter they wrote with the help of Coun. Thora Palson, who will be council’s representative on the dog committee.

“Generally, we had pretty positive response, but we did have a couple of concerns come in (via) email,” Carman admitted.

Councillor Richard Petrowski asked about the potential for noise issues with so many dogs in one area, but Carman doesn’t see that as a major issue.

“Stef and I take our dogs out all the time and with other dogs,” he said. “Dogs are not barking at each other, usually they are barking or being noisy when they are bored, being cooped up in a small space, or not getting exercise or the attention they need.”

Furthermore, parking isn’t something Carman believes will be an issue.

“Being that it’s a centrally-located park, I feel like a lot of people will be walking there, so we’re not talking about a lot of car traffic,” he said.

The biggest question at this time is what the hours of the park will be. The committee has done lots of research on timeline, but is open to several options right now, including the common dusk-to-dawn schedule.

At this time, there is no timeline on when the dog park, if approved, would open to the public, but the committee is optimistic it will be sooner rather than later.

Bleacher signs approved

The Gimli Soccer Club’s request to put sponsorship signs on the bleachers at the Gimli Recreation Centre during its season was granted by council.

In a March 20 letter from the club’s vice-president, Jay Boaz, which was obtained by The Interlake Spectator, he noted the bleachers are the ideal location to erect sponsor signs for three reasons: “No new structures need to be built, which keeps costs down; there are no additional obstacles for grass cutting; and the signs would be nice and high, making them easy to see.”

The four three-foot-by-eight-foot signs would be zip-tied for the season so as not to damage the bleachers, and removed at the conclusion of the season.

The third-year organization views this initiative as a way to help raise money and keep costs down.

“Soccer is a very good sport because of the fact that people can enter it very reasonably-priced,” Greenberg said. “Soccer is a very good sport in our community.”

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