CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- The dilemma about where to locate a proposed dog park on Chincoteague continues.
Two Chincoteague residents spoke at the March 5 Chincoteague Town Council meeting against putting a long-debated dog park at Donald Leonard Park.
The Town Council had previously voted 5-1 to put the dog park at Donald Leonard Park on a temporary basis, Mayor J. Arthur Leonard said.
Leonard summed up officials' quandary about where to locate the dog park — for which thousands of dollars have been raised and which has been in the works for well over a year.
"Everybody wants it, but nobody wants it next to them and nobody can agree on where to put it," he said.
The council voted on Dec. 5, 2016, to accept donations from anyone who would like to see a dog park built on the island, and a benefit event was held in February 2017.
After hearing comments from the public, the council in January this year turned down a proposal to construct the dog park at Veterans Memorial Park.
Vice Mayor Denise Bowden's motion to put the dog park at Veterans Memorial Park was not seconded, after 13 speakers commented either for or against the location during a public comment period Jan. 2.
That put Donald Leonard Park back in play as a potential location, but nearby residents also objected to that site.
Councilwoman Ellen Richardson said the area around Hallie Whealton Smith Drive "is where everybody walks their dogs" now.
Still, the area includes wetlands, which could complicate constructing a dog park there, officials have said.
"We have to come together as a council to direct (Town Manager) Mr. West where to look," Leonard said, adding of the dog park idea, "It's apparently not that simple."
The council after discussion voted 4-3, with Leonard breaking the tie, to rescind its previous vote to temporarily locate the dog park at Donald Leonard Park — clearing the way for a subsequent, unanimous vote directing Town Manager Jim West to investigate placing the dog park in the Hallie Whealton Smith Drive area.
The council, in the third vote of the evening related to the dog park, unanimously approved adopting a list of rules and a fee structure for the dog park as recommended by the town's parks and recreation advisory committee.
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