Coun­cil gives dog park the nod

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - AL WIL­LIAMS

Wai­mate is to get a dog park, but not every­one is happy.

There was some heated dis­cus­sion as sev­eral op­tions were tabled at a Wai­mate District Coun­cil meet­ing on Tues­day.

Wai­mate district coun­cil­lors, ex­clud­ing Miriam Mor­ton, voted in favour of as­set group man­ager Dan Mitchell’s rec­om­men­da­tion to ap­prove the use of a sec­tion of Knot­tin­g­ley Park, known as Mur­ray­field, for the pur­pose of a dog park with $18,900 funded through a sub­di­vi­sion re­serve fund and op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance costs re­tained to in­form fu­ture bud­get­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Mayor Craig Row­ley asked that an­other rec­om­men­da­tion be added, call­ing for back­ers of the dog park and vol­un­teer group Friends of Knot­tin­g­ley Park to meet and fur­ther dis­cuss the finer de­tails of how the de­vel­op­ment would pro­ceed.

Row­ley’s re­quest fol­lowed pre­sen­ta­tions by Friends of Knot­tin­g­ley Park chair­man Robert God­frey and dog park backer Janelle Bil­cliffe. God­frey said the group of about 45 vol­un­teers was sur­prised it had not been given more no­tice of the pro­posal.

‘‘We are puz­zled ba­si­cally, it just seems so un-Wai­mate-ish. God­frey had about seven sup­port­ers with him at the meet­ing.

‘‘What i am ask­ing for is for you to give se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion to at least post­pon­ing this de­ci­sion,’’ he said. ‘‘One op­tion would be a more cen­tral lo­ca­tion where old peo­ple can walk to be­cause at the mo­ment you can only get to Mur­ray­field by car.’’

Bil­cliffe, who pre­sented a dog park pro­posal to coun­cil­lors at the Oc­to­ber meet­ing, said she sup­ported the Mur­ray­field op­tion.

Speak­ing to the meet­ing, Bil­cliffe said; ‘‘I’m de­lighted Knot­tin­g­ley Park has been considered and for $18,000, I think the coun­cil has been greatly fru­gal.’’

Mor­ton, who voted against the pro­posal said; ‘‘I think if we put fences up then we des­ig­nate it solely for dogs’’. ‘‘I have great con­cerns about Mur­ray­field be­cause if we re­state its use then we are go­ing to af­fect users.’’

PHOTO: MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ STUFF

Julie Po­tatau said her chil­dren Quinn and Jade had been brave in liv­ing with di­a­betes.

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