By SAMANTHA PIDDE
The Mount Carroll City Council and community members are looking into the possibility of creating a dog park.
During the Tuesday, March 23, council meeting, at the Community House, local resident Karen Bazilewich discussed her efforts to create a dog park in the city. She expressed interest in the possibility of having the dog park located just west of the new waste water treatment plant.
"It is already mostly fenced in and who wants to picnic behind a sewer treatment plant anyways," Bazilewich said in an email to the council.
She also pointed out that utilizing the existing fencing could save those working on the park "hundreds if not a couple thousand dollars."
Mayor Carl Bates spoke in favor of saving the old fencing for a possible dog park. However, he said he was unsure if the area behind the new plant is the best location, noting it sits within the flood plain.
"What else are you going to use the land for?" Ald. Doug Bergren asked.
Bates responded that the area could potentially be used for a batting cage area, picnic area or other uses.
Ald. Joe Grim said he supports a city dog park and is in favor of reusing the old fencing. However, he said he was unsure about that location and felt more investigation is needed into the matter.
"I don't think you're hearing anybody saying, 'No, we're not going to do it,'" the mayor said.
Some discussion was raised by council members regarding how a possible dog park would be maintained and who would police it to make sure people picked up after themselves and their dogs. Bates said he is also concerned about possible liability issues.
Bazilewich noted Freeport charges a membership fee for its dog park, but Mayor Bates contended that is different since Freeport has someone working there to police it. Bazilewich said she might know some people who would volunteer to help at the dog park.
Council members thanked Bazilewich for suggesting the dog park idea and said they plan to pursue the matter further.