Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Turning golf hole into a dog park

by Lisa Seiser

June 02, 2011

It appears as though local skaters and BMXers may get their own new park, so why not local dogs?

The former eighth fairway at Hillmoor could become Lake Geneva's new dog park sometime in the near future.

Members of the City Council provided preliminary approval for moving forward with plans to create a dog park on the city's property. On May 23, minutes after approving a $30,000 expenditure for a design of a new skate park, the council authorized the Park Board to continue to research using the eighth hole as a dog park.

The golf hole is on the other side of the fence from Dunn Field, behind Eastview School. It is very close to the current skate park facility. It is a part of the city owned acreage previously used for the Hillmoor holes and leased to the owners of Hillmoor.

"The dog park has been an item on the Park Board's to do list for a very long time," Alderman and Park Board member Al Kupsik said.

According to Kupsik, the location is accessible with parking and people are already using the area as a dog park.

"I think we should officially build the dog park in the area," Kupsik said.

Funding for the park could come from the Tax Incremental Financing District or park impact fees. The main cost will be fencing for the area.

"I don't think it will require a lot of maintenance," Kupsik said. "It will be a fenced in area where you can run your dog. We need adequate bags to clean up. This way, give people somewhere to go and opportunity to clean up."

Some aldermen questioned the details for the park.

The Park Board will continue discussions to arrive at the specifics, which then will be brought back to the council for a vote.

During the May 4, Park Board meeting, the issue was discussed for several minutes. Currently, dogs are allowed at Four Seasons Nature Preserve. But there were concerns about that location because it requires people to drive to the park and it is isolated.

Mayor Jim Connors said the former Hillmoor eighth hole is the "perfect location." He said the old seventh hole already is the "official unofficial dog park. That's where people walk through the gate near the seventh tee and walk their dogs.

However, members of the Park Board agreed the eighth hole may be better.

"There are a lot of people asking for a dog park," Park Board Chairman Doug Skates said May 4. "I would love to see this issue put to rest."

The eighth hole runs about two football fields long.

"This is well worth doing," Alderman Terry O'Neill said May 23. "The Paddock Lake park is used. This is one of the things we're missing."

"This is something that is a long time coming," he said. "We could never find a location for it. This is ideal."