City discusses dog park

Published 2:51 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Harlan City Council discussed the leasing of property for a planned dog park intended for use by the city’s pet owners during the panel’s regular April meeting.

“The next item on the agenda is the dog park lease,” Harlan City Mayor Joe Meadors said. “This has been hanging around for awhile. They had some ideas on what they wanted to see in the lease, so our attorney and their attorney have gone back and forth.”

Meadors clarified there were no major problems with the lease.

“They were just minor issues,” Meadors said. “We finally got something that both parties could agree on, so I went to their meeting last week and got the lease signed.”

Meadors told the panel the lessors are looking forward to the park.

“It’s cleaned up their property considerably, it’s made that whole end of town look better,” Meadors said. “We’ve cleaned it off, graded it, we’ve fertilized and seeded it. We’re well on our way.”

Meadors noted many people have expressed a positive opinion toward the park.

“A lot of people have stopped me and asked about it,” Meadors said. “A lot of people in town are anxious to get their dogs somewhere to go.”

Meadors explained Huff Park, where many people have walked their dogs in the past, is not a suitable location for the activity.

Meadors added Huff Park is the location for Harlan Little League baseball games, making it an unsuitable location for dogs and other pets to roam.

“That field is for Little League baseball,” Meadors said.

Meadors told the panel some equipment has been ordered for the dog park. He called on Laura Adkisson, of Harlan City Tourism, to bring the council up to date on a grant for the park.

“It was a grant…basically for rural area tourism,” Adkisson said. “We were able to fit the dog park into that.”

Adkisson pointed out if there is a place to for their dogs to exercise, tourists are likely to spend more time in the downtown Harlan area. She advised the grant allowed for the purchase of equipment such as benches and a dog waste disposal unit.

“There are other grants that we’re waiting to hear back on, but we did get this on,” Adkisson told the panel. “This will be an ongoing process.”

Meadors said the city is also looking at the possibility of installing a water fountain at the park.

“We will have a sign erected at the entrance that says it’s a cooperative venture between the city of Harlan, the Harlan Tourism Commission, Harlan County Farm Bureau and Friends of the Park. We’ve had several individuals say once it gets set up, they’ll contribute some money to it.”

Meadors told the council the park will require fencing. He noted fencing would cost approximately $7,500.

“We were planning on getting a five foot high chain link fence,” Meadors said. “We’re really trying to make it look nice…I’m asking for your permission to buy some fencing and get that up so we can get this going.”

Council member Chris Jones asked when dog park would be ready for use. Meadors verified the park would be ready to use once the fencing is purchased and installed.

The park will be located next to the Harlan County Farm Bureau offices on Walnut Street in Harlan.