Columbia Residents Upset After Dog Park Items Removed

8 years 1 month 8 hours ago Thursday, November 11 2010 Nov 11, 2010 Thursday, November 11, 2010 4:28:39 PM CST November 11, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Some Columbia residents are upset after they claim the Parks and Recreation Department took their personal items from the Garth Nature Area dog park.

Dog owner Tom Masters said a few residents had placed 15 chairs, two windbreakers, and a bucket of dog toys in the park for residents to share. These items had been in the park for more than a year. Wednesday they were gone.

Jeany Pharr, another dog owner, said she is angry.

"Our taxes keep us having a nice park to come to and now they're taking everything away from us, and I don't think that's fair," Pharr said.

Masters said he received a call Wednesday from a friend who said they saw a Parks and Recreation truck carrying away the items from the dog park. Masters said there are only two picnic tables in the park, and those who put the chairs in the park just wanted another place for residents to sit down.

"This is a community park, we all live around here, we all come here because it's close, so it would be nice if we could bring things here and they leave it alone," another resident said.

Columbia resident Kim Revels-Wahn agreed and said those who live around there don't just see the park as a dog park, but as a place to gather and chat. She said it's hard to do that without chairs.

"It's not just a dog park, but a community park," Revels-Wahn said.

Parks and Rec director Mike Hood said he is not aware of the items' disappearance, but said he will contact his maintenance workers Thursday to investigate the situation. He said it is possible the workers took the items if the residents did not have a permit to keep them in the park.

Masters said he and the other residents didn't know they needed a permit.

"They should have put up a sign or gotten in contact with somebody that comes out here everyday or notified us and put a sign up on the gate and we would have gotten a permit to bring it out there," Masters said.

Hood said any resident wanting to make improvements to the dog parks should contact the Parks and Rec department.

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