Carter Park dog plan discussion heats up
BRECKENRIDGE Could pooches get their own park in Breckenridge one of these days? They might, after a local advisory group came together to address the issue of conflicts between dogs and humans in Carter Park, when town officials said the status quo is no longer acceptable. With more and more use of the area, the problems have intensified in recent years, according to town officials.Along with outlining some temporary solutions for Carter Park, the steering committee also expressed an interest in identifying some town property where a dog park with enhanced amenities could be developed in the future.That’s music to the ears of Bruce Beerup, of the League for Animals and People of the Summit (L.A.P.S.), an organization that has long been advocating for dog parks in Summit County.”We’ve been attending meetings with every community in the county for a long time,” Beerup said, expressing some frustration with the lack of responsiveness by local governments, even after his organization offered to step up and help with funding a dog park. According to Beerup, about an acre of land, with access to water, is what’s needed.
At Carter Park, Breckenridge Police Chief Rick Holman said the growing number of unfriendly encounters between dogs and people prompted the town to take on the issue.”Our biggest problem was too many mixed uses,” Holman said. “People see the problems but they don’t want to give up what they’ve had. Separating the uses is a good temporary solution,” Holman said, adding that a separate dog park might be the best long-term answer. At the same time, he encouraged dog owners to be responsible and follow the law.”We have rules and have to hold people accountable,” he said.After meeting three times, the advisory group recommended a couple of different solutions for Carter Park, including a a seasonal plan, with changing dog-park boundaries established with temporary fencing. Under this option, about $2,700 worth of fencing would be installed on the south, west and north sides of the park. The sledding hill would remain open but be groomed to prevent the run-out from ending at the fencing.
During the summer, the dog park would be relocated to the winter sledding area by shifting the fence to the north, west and south boundaries. A second, more expensive option incorporates permanent fencing at a cost of about $16,000, as well as the closure of the sledding hill. Both plans involve stricter enforcement of existing leash laws and new signage.Since there is considerable interest in maintaining the sledding hill, the advisory group recommended the seasonal option as its preferred plan. The Breckenridge Town Council will discuss Carter Park at a Jan. 23 work session between 4 and 5:30 p.m.Increased human and dog use of Breckenridge’s Carter Park should come as no surprise, considering the national numbers:
• Pet ownership grew from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988 to 63 percent last year, according to figures from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. • U.S. families house almost 74 million dogs, and collectively families planned to spend $38 billion on their pets last year, with $2.7 billion going for grooming and boarding. – Source: The Associated PressBob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at email@example.com.
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