Citizens should help pay for a dog park
It would be great for Porterville to have a dog park and we are pleased the city is even considering the idea.
However, the city has many projects on its wish list, and the dog park, unfortunately, is not far up on that list. There is only so much funding to go around.
Before a dog park is developed, the first priority must be building a dog shelter here in town. That project has lingered far too long, and we understand the budget constraints the city faces, but would like to see that project move forward in the near future.
We understand there are many people in town who would like to see a dog park and we are encouraged those people are seeking support. We hope that includes financial support. A dog park should not be that expensive, but there is also the maintenance of the park to be considered. A dog park is only successful if it is kept clean. In Visalia, dog owners are asked to help keep the dog parks there clean and for the most part, are good at picking up after their dogs. However, there is still a cost to the city.
A dog park does not have to be that large and does not require a significant amount of construction, so developing a park should not be that expensive. If residents can come up with at least half of the cost, we would encourage the city to match that.
As for locations, there are places where we feel residents will welcome a dog park, such as at Zalud Park, possibly the new Chase Park, along the Tule River trail, or possibly across the street from Murry Park where the city has acquired some new property. A dog park would be a nice addition to any city park.
Developing a dog park should not be a problem if residents can come up with at least some of the cost and hopefully continue to raise funds to help cover the cost of maintaining the park. The next step is for the city to identify a location, and we hope that step can be taken sooner than later.