Dog park debut delayed |

Dog park debut delayed

City Hall likely will not build a much-anticipated dog park until the end of August, an official said Monday, acknowledging nearby roadwork that must be completed first has fallen behind schedule.

Matt Twombly, who designs parks for City Hall and is leading the local government’s efforts to build the dog park, said in an interview City Hall had wanted to open the dog park in the first week of August. The roadwork, which can be seen from numerous vantages at the entryway to the Quinn’s Junction recreation complex off S.R. 248, is three weeks behind schedule, according to Twombly. The frontage road under construction will serve the Intermountain Healthcare hospital, which crews are putting up nearby, and the Park City Ice Arena.

Twombly said the hospital construction crews could not have asphalt delivered in a timely fashion during the recent Triple Crown Sports softball tournament, which used the recreation complex at Quinn’s Junction as a primary venue. Because of the delay in the asphalt delivery, the roadwork necessary for the dog park opening was also put behind.

The dog park requires minor construction, with Twombly saying the city crews will build a fence and install a drinking fountain. Neither has started. The dog park will cover about 1.7 acres just off the entry road. It will have separate areas for big and small dogs.

It will be the only public place in Park City where dogs will be allowed to be off leash. Elsewhere, leash laws are in effect.

Many dog owners have pressed city officials to build a dog park, but the site was not picked until after an exhaustive search. Neighbors disliked places that are centrally located, leaving the Quinn’s Junction land, well east of Prospector and Park Meadows, as City Hall’s preferred option.

The park will cost about $30,000 to build, with the price including the fence and a water fountain.

A group of supporters plans to hold a contest to name the dog park, but details were not immediately available.

The delay in the opening pushes the debut until the end of the summer, the season when dog owners are most often seen outside with their pets. If next winter starts early, the dog park’s first season could be short.

The opening will also come at the end of a tense summer for dog owners marked by two well-publicized cases in which off-leash dogs were sprayed with pepper spray. Bob Berube, the pepper spray carrier, has said he was leery of the dogs when they approached him. Fliers featuring a picture of Berube later appeared warning dog owners.

Leash laws have long been disputed in Park City, with some saying it is safer if dogs are restrained but others claiming allowing dogs off leash fits with Park City’s mountain-town atmosphere.

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