UXBRIDGE: Councillors untethered its off leash dog park committee this week amid recent comments from the community.
In the last term of council, a committee had been working towards a local solution for the issue of a dog park for the municipality before getting tied up with other matters. However, after receiving letters from concerned local residents at their meeting on the morning of Monday, Sept. 14, councillors pledged to bring the group back.
“We have been in support of an off-leash dog park for a number of years and I’d like to see it come back and have support from the community,” explained Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy, a member of the original off-leash committee. He added that the original group had been consumed by efforts surrounding the new animal shelter before eventually disbanding.
In 2010, the township undertook a successful pilot project that allowed off-leash dogs in Elgin Park during early morning hours. However, the idea was later abandoned by council amid legal concerns. Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger, representing Ward 4 at the time, was the lone representative to vote in favour of making the off-leash measure at the park permanent.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor noted that establishing a dog park would be a boost for the community, although she questioned some of the recent comments made by local residents on the matter.
“We’ve been getting all kinds of kick back in some of the local papers that it’s our obligation to have (a dog park), that I don’t quite think is true. But, as a dog lover, I do think that there is a real opportunity here in Uxbridge,” commented Mayor O’Connor.
Councillor Molloy added that he “wanted to make clear that we have been supporting this” and he was “hopeful we can make it happen for our residents, both two and four-legged.”
As well, Ward 4 Councillor Fred Bryan pledged that he would aid Councillor Molloy in the endeavour and begin circulating e-mails for support for the project.