A flat part of South Street Park, located southeast of its intersection with Depot Street, will be used as a dog park on a trial basis, the Batesville Parks and Recreation Board decided July 17. Mayor Rick Fledderman received a suggestion from a local Girl Scout troop to install the asset there “to allow residents to let their dogs run freely” and Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer liked the idea.
Temporary fencing previously used on The Plex’s field No. 4 will establish the dog park’s boundaries. “We’re going to have to put some sort of gate on it,” Fledderman added. BPRB President Bob Fitzpatrick wondered if benches could be installed for dog owners. “I could bring some from (Liberty) Park,” the commissioner answered.
In the future, if the board votes to make the dog park permanent, “we have to come up with some funding” for a better fence and access to water for the animals, the mayor noted.
Baumer and Fledderman will draft some rules, which will be posted, and bags for waste disposal will be available. The mayor said, “If people don’t clean up” after their pets, the park will vanish.
Member Dr. Ed Negovetich asked, “Would you require permits?” Fledderman said, “Maybe they’d have to be registered with the city … (the dogs) would have to have their vaccinations” so they could mingle safely.
According to Fledderman, “The future (of the dog park) … is really in the pet owners’ hands. We’ll see how much it’s used.”
Baumer explained the park will be improved in another way. Dollars from an engraved brick fundraiser for the park will be used to purchase and install curbing around the playground.
“There are two safety issues at The Plex,” Batesville’s new baseball and softball complex, Negovetich pointed out. Netting or another kind of barrier is needed to protect spectators from foul balls. The other danger: Prominent ground lips between infield and outfield areas, especially on the coach-pitched diamond. The physician noted, “If a kid steps on that wrong, you could easily sprain if not break an ankle.”