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North Liberty dog park

City to purchase land on east side of town
On Tuesday, June 12, the North Liberty City Council approved the purchase of land for a dog park. Located on the eastern outskirts of town, plans for the approximately 11.5 acres include more than seven acres of fenced-in space for dogs to play, plus parking, benches and shelter. (photo by Cale Stelken)

NORTH LIBERTY– On Tuesday, June 12, the North Liberty City Council approved the purchase of land for a dog park. The plan is to reallocate $225,000 in trail lighting funds from the FY18 budget. A purchase agreement could be considered as early as June 26.
The $200,000 land purchase is for approximately 11.5 acres owned by Pat Scanlon and located on the eastern outskirts of town, at the curve where Penn Street meets North Liberty Road. With approval of the purchase, additional planning can commence, including a timeline for park development. City Administrator Ryan Heiar noted, heading into FY19, the city will also have $30,000 set aside from the hotel/motel tax. Initial plans include more than seven acres of fenced-in space for dogs to play, plus parking, benches and shelter. Overall costs are estimated at $1 million.
“I think everybody realizes that this thing is going to have to be done incrementally,” Mayor Terry Donahue noted during the meeting, adding that, with collaboration between the local non-profit Johnson County Dog PAC and the City of North Liberty, the project “can be very, very successful.”
JC Dog PAC thanked the city council upon approval of the land purchase and presented a large check for $50,000 in donation. The organization is committed to additional fundraising to help outfit the park. Residents can join the effort by visiting northlibertydogpark.com to make a tax-deductible donation.
“Three years ago, we first met about the possibility of having a dog park in North Liberty,” noted Jake Villhauer, North Liberty resident and president of JC Dog PAC. “We’re thrilled that more than 1,000 residents voiced their desire, and the City of North Liberty made finding land for this a priority. We’re excited to help make this happen. North Liberty residents deserve a treat and a scratch behind the ears, because they made their city an even better place to live.”