Dog park finds funding, Mayor objects - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Dog park finds funding, Mayor objects

Dog lovers in Shreveport moved one step closer, then two steps back, in the way of getting a public dog park in the community.The Shreveport Dog Park Alliance, which has been trying to raise money for the project, has been approved by the Red River Waterway Commission (RRWC) for $280,000 in funding for a dog park to be built on city property at Charles and Marie Hamel Memorial Park.The RRWC approved the money recently after a delegation made up of two Shreveport city council members and a Caddo Parish commissioner appealed for the funds. But Mayor Cedric Glover is not impressed."Thank you, but no thank you," Glover told KTBS Thursday.Glover says the city property was set aside for the dog park on the assumption that funding would come from private sources."There was never anyone who said to us that they were looking to go and ultimately end up competing for dollars from a funding source that the city of Shreveport is in the process of attempting to gain significant funding for as well."The mayor's office has put in a request to RRWC for at least $1.4 million in funding for recreation improvements at RiverView Park, Stoner Woods Boat Launch and Marie and Charles Hamel Memorial Park. Those improvements include restrooms, shade structure for the RiverView stage, picnic pavilions and information kiosks. Parks director Shelly Ragle notes that while the city wasn't dedicating money to the dog park, the restrooms and other features at the south end of the parkway would provide benefit to that venue when and if it was constructed.While he has no problem with the dog park concept, Glover says he has trouble with the source of the funding.Councilman Oliver Jenkins was one of the local elected officials who made the dog park presentation to the Waterway Commission. The proposed dog park, at one time considered for a spot near Veterans Park along the parkway, now would be in his District C. He said the council had not been aware of the administration's list of proposed riverfront projects. Otherwise he would have consulted with the mayor before meeting with the Waterway Commission. The next step, he says, will be for the council to introduce a measure acknowledging the Water Commission's contribution and entering into a cooperative endeavor that stipulates what the city will do with the funding."From my perspective it is a quality of life issue that has been unanimously supported at the council level,'' Jenkins said.

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