HJ - Kiwanis Park Sign

Using a representative, neighbors around Kiwanis Park told Clarinda City Council their concerns of using a portion of Kiwanis Park as a dog park, as suggested last month by a resident. Mike Kurtz said the neighbors are supportive of the park, just not in Kiwanis Park. (Herald-Journal photo)

Neighbors around Kiwanis Park asked the Clarinda City Council to keep a tight leash on the location of a proposed dog park in the community.

Mike Kurtz addressed the city council Wednesday, Sept. 11, to relay concerns he and several other neighbors have about the potential of locating the dog park at Kiwanis Park.

“We’re not against the dog park. We’re just against the dog park being at Kiwanis Park. We think there are better places for it than in a residential section,” Kurtz said.

Ayn Taylor Clarinda met with the city council Aug. 14 to discuss the creation of a dog park. During her presentation Taylor suggested Kiwanis Park as a possible location.

“That was not our idea to put it there. That was presented to us. That’s not on our mind,” council member Jeff McCall said.

Kurtz, who lives across the southeast corner of Kiwanis Park, informed the council there are 14 properties surrounding the park. He spoke to 12 of those neighbors and said 11 were against creating a dog park in the park, while the other resident was neutral to the idea.

“We have, what we consider, a sweet spot there on the back of us. It’s like people who buy a home around a lake. We have a park and we think it’s a plus, but we feel like it could go to a minus if a dog park is put in there,” Kurtz said.

Clarinda Low Rent Housing Director Julie McAndrews also attended the meeting. She said placing the dog park at Kiwanis Park could have a negative impact on the residents of Clarhaven because of its proximity to the park.

“I’m all for a dog park. Just not, necessarily, right in our back yard because so many of the folks that live at Clarhaven are older. They don’t run their (air conditioning). They have their windows open, so if it is loud or if it is smelly, it wouldn’t be a good thing,” McAndrews said.

McAndrews also said a lot of children that play at Kiwanis Park or walk past the park on their way to school.

Another neighbor, Mark Neumeyer, was concerned about the loss of green space that would be created by placing the dog park at Kiwanis Park.

“You look at Clarhaven and then Westridge (Quality Care and Rehab) is right across the street from it. So the green space is used by a lot of people,” Neumeyer said.

“I think there are some other good potential areas we could look at that are more on the outskirts of town,” Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon said.

McCall said while he was working in Red Oak he drove by their dog park. That facility is located at the edge of the city and he agreed there were obvious reason why a dog park should be located away from a residential area.

Council member Gary Alger said the people he has spoken with are not opposed to the dog park provided a feasible location could be found.

“We are still just at the discussion stage. There has been no definite decision about going forward,” council member Craig Hill said.

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