Regina will be getting two off-leash dog parks in 2020.
During Friday’s budget deliberations, Coun. Lori Bresciani asked her colleagues to consider an off-leash area in Harding Park in addition to one in Mount Pleasant.
While the funding for the space in Mount Pleasant was outlined for next year, administration explained it planned to hold off on Harding Park until 2021.
In a tight vote, Bresciani got the support needed to proceed with an off-leash area in Harding Park as well.
Currently, there are two off-leash dog parks in Regina: the partially-fenced Cathy Lauritsen Memorial Off-Leash Dog Park and the fully-fenced Ross Industrial Off-Leash Dog Park. There are seven other spaces that dogs can roam free during the summer during specific hours.
“We are so behind in this city,” said Bresciani, comparing Regina to Saskatoon, which has 11 municipal off-leash dog parks.
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Coun. Bob Hawkins agreed that Regina needed to move forward with off-leash dog parks, but preferred sticking with the proposal by administration.
“I think that we’ve got to follow a plan,” Hawkins said. “There is a plan in place.”
Bresciani, who represents the ward in which Harding Park is located, argued that this is part of the plan, it would just be “jumping the list.”
“It’s coming up,” she said. “I think we need to start looking at wholesomely all areas – areas that have seen growth in the city – to have some amenities out there.”
Fast-tracking Harding Park will cost Regina an additional $220,000 in 2020. The majority of that money will come from the recreation infrastructure program, the mill rate for which has been proposed to increase by 0.5 per cent next year.
Down the road, there are two dog parks proposed in the redevelopment of the Regent Park Par 3 Golf Course. Council agreed to proceed pursuing design options for that property.
Administration has been tasked with reporting on increasing dog licensing fees, currently $25 in Regina, on par with other municipalities and looking into what they do with the revenue.