People love their dogs. It’s as simple as that.
Whether taking them on walks, exercising with them or just keeping them around the house, people love to spend time with their four-legged friends. But sometimes there isn’t much else to do other than the odd walk-around-the-block or tossing a tennis ball in the backyard.
Philipsburg resident Elliott Lauder said he and his wife love to take their dog with them when they travel, meeting fellow dog owners and visiting different dog parks. When Lauder noted that his town didn’t have an area for fellow dog owners, he decided to change that.
“I talked to people in town and they seemed interested, so I brought it before the borough council,” Lauder said Friday. “I proposed a dog park to the council, who said if I would organize it, they would be OK with it.”
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With the support of the dog-owners of Philipsburg, Lauder and council members started looking at empty plots that could be used as a park. Lauder contacted a friend with engineering experience, Alex Fisher, and the two were able to design a park complete with sections for different sized dogs, fencing and on-site parking.
For now, the proposed park would sit on a small section of land near the intersection of East Pine Street and Railroad Street, according to plans.
What started as an idea around the beginning of summer will now go before the borough council for approval on Monday, he said. Lauder added that the community had met regarding the park Thursday and agreed to create a fundraising committee, as the park is anticipated to cost about $25,000.
“That’s mostly for the fencing, which is a totally doable amount,” he said, adding that a borough council member agreed to help write a grant application. Right now, he said he hopes the community and local businesses will be willing to contribute and sponsor the park.
If the initial park design goes well, Lauder said more improvements will come. He said he hopes to break ground on the park by next spring.
“There’s a demand for the park,” he said. “There are lots of residents with dogs, and it’s nice to go to a park and meet people with similar interests.”
Once the park is established, the borough will maintain it, he said, including cutting grass and fence maintenance.