Marco is mulling the idea of loaning money to dog lovers to build the Canine Cove dog runs.
So far, about $15,000, of the $40,000 needed, has been raised to build Marco’s dog runs, announced Jan Temkiewicz, a member of the Friends of Canine Cove, a group coordinating the fundraising. She said the largest expense is for about 1,000 linear feet of fencing, which costs about $15 per foot.
“Bottom line is we need a place for our dogs to play safely,” Temkiewicz said.
Councilman Jerry Gibson proposed that the city consider loaning the remaining money needed to build the park with the idea that once the dog park exists, hosting dog-related events will make paying for its construction easier.
Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk advised the venue would help the group. Council decided Monday they would support looking at ways to budget for the construction as they dig deeper into planning the 2010 budget throughout August and September.
“Bryan Milk has done an incredible job with this. People should begin keeping an eye out in Mackle Park for a sign that reads ‘Future home of Canine Cove,” Temkiewicz said.
Vice Chairman Frank Recker said it was a no-brainer to support the dog park, which in a city budget of millions of dollars is so relatively inexpensive, and yet so many residents have expressed they want it.
Self-proclaimed dog lover Darcie Guerin said she was enthusiastic about the idea of city support.
“That would be a wonderful commitment from the city. It would be an example of grassroots, local government at its best,” Guerin said.
She was confident that the Friends of Canine Cove would be able to raise and return the money.
Geurin used the example of resident Karen Saeks, who earlier in 2009 hosted Yappy Hour as a benefit for Bedtime Bundles and raised $17,000 in one day.
“It was like a sea of dogs. People are passionate about their pets,” Guerin said.
She added that the group has also developed additional opportunities for naming rights of various features to be located at the small and large dog runs on the site, which is larger than one acre.
Personalized inscriptions ranging from $100 to $2,000 are available on the following planned objects, a fountain, benches, shelters, trees and a proposed “Waggin’ Wall of Thanks.”
Temkiewicz said the two shelters are planned chickee huts, one for the small dog run and one for the big dogs.
Guerin said she chose a bench in honor of a 15-year-old dog she recently lost.
“People will do almost anything for their pets,” she said.
Contributions can be sent to Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department, Attention: Dog Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island, FL 34145.
Contact Deborah Chapman, 642-7201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.