A misunderstanding between city commissioners and the McPherson Dog Park Association prompted a study session late Monday morning.
Nick Gregory, McPherson city administrator, said it was city commissioner's understanding that the association would run the facility after it's completion, whereas the association thought it would only fund development of the site.
Both city commissioners and representatives from the McPherson Dog Park Association met to discuss the role of each side within the park.
Mayor Tom Brown said the city will maintain ownership of the ground and be responsible for water and fencing. The Dog Park Association will be in charge of general maintenance on the site, including cleaning.
Traci Parrish, president of the McPherson Dog Park Association, said all money being raised by the association is currently going toward the construction of the park. Parrish said the association was willing to work with the city to try to keep the cost of the park as low as possible.
The city received a $25,000 anonymous donation toward the building of a dog park. City commissioners discussed the possibility of budgeting another $25,000 toward the park, with the majority to be used as reserve funds for maintenance and repairs over time.
The extra $25,000 would come out of the general fund, with cuts applied to other departments.
Commissioner Bob Moore said while he doesn't oppose the dog park, he was concerned with cuts already being applied to other areas.
“We've already had to cut funds to the cemetery,” Moore said. “Are our loved ones buried in the cemetery worth less than dogs?”
Brown said the city would work to see if the extra $25,000 could be raised without raising taxes or applying significant cuts to other departments.
“We can make this work,” he said.
Both Brown and Parrish agreed the dog park would encourage more young couples to stay in McPherson.
“Every young couple's first child is a dog,” Parrish said.