McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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March 20, 2013

City approves dog park lease

McALESTER — Recently, the city of McAlester approved a lease and the development of a dog park by the city department of McAlester Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Pride In McAlester.

The city parks and recreation in cooperation with Pride In McAlester will hold a community meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the J.I. Stipe Center at 801 N. Ninth St. to discuss plans for the dog park.

The empty lot, that is 2.64 acres, will be leased for $1 from McAlester Public Schools and is located between B and C Streets, on Seneca Avenue next to Chaney Park.

McAlester Community Services Director Mel Priddy said, in February, at the regularly scheduled McAlester Public School Board of Education meeting that he’s considered the benefits of a dog park to the people and pets of McAlester for a while and believes property belonging to McAlester Public Schools that is next to Chaney Park is the ideal location.

“Many larger cities have them (dog parks), and smaller towns and cities are starting to do the same,” Priddy said. “It’s just good for the community.”

Priddy told the school board that the city maintained the property thinking it was city property until the city tried to sell it to find that it belonged to the schools.

He said a dog park would give dog owners a place to spend time with their animals and socialize with other dog owners.

Priddy said at this time there is no money in the parks and recreation budget for the park.

“We will have to raise the money through donations,” he said. “And grants.”

The meeting will cover discussion of rules, design, and fundraising development and is open to anyone who is interested in helping. Discussion will also include plans for a “Name that Dog Park” Contest.

There will be light refreshments served at the meeting. For questions, please contact Priddy at 918-421-4914.

Contact MJ Brickey by email at mjbrickey@journalist.com.

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