Citizens for the Preservation of
Letter to the Editor of the Rolla Daily News
published July 30, 2016
I attended the July 18 Rolla City Council meeting at which two citizens requested permission to turn a third of Buehler Park into a dog park. Mayor Magdits tabled the matter to wait for citizen feedback, and might I now respond:
1. Dog parks are most appropriately placed in high-density population areas, but Buehler Park is in a very low-density area. So how many people may be expected to put their dogs in a car and drive to the park in order to let their dog run about there?
2. The setting up of fences in a third of the park would significantly alter the nature of the park. It would no longer be a park for all local people and visitors to our area. It would be primarily for dog-owners willing to drive their dogs to the park.
3. But since Buehler Park is in a low-density population area, there will likely be many times when nobody drives their dog to run there. The result could then be a park of limited appropriateness for the general public but without the dog-owners the park is supposed to serve.
4. The two citizens proposing the dog park mentioned that half the people expected to make use of the park will be local citizens, and the other half will be travelers stopping by Rolla. In view of the number of expected visitors, the best location for the dog park might be near the Chamber of Commerce Reception Center.
5. A particularly weak point of the dog-park proponents is the cost of maintaining the dog park. The two proponents assured the Council that the organization Royal-Canin will maintain it with volunteers. But no City proposal should be based on volunteer work over the long term. What will happen in five or ten years (or less), as new circumstances may arise? The City will almost certainly have to assume the financial responsibility or see the new facility deteriorate.
6. I respectfully ask the Council: Please make no decision to proceed until other possible locations for the dog park are sought.
Buehler Park is a beautiful, small city park, and because of its location there have been various suggestions that would either destroy it (1996; sale to Cracker Barrel) or alter its present character (the recent dog-park proposal). Please, let it remain the beautiful park for all people that it presently is.
Jerry Cohen, president
Citizens for the Preservation of Buehler Park