City OKs dog park

It looks like dogs of Oak Harbor will get a place to run free and sniff wantonly, unfettered by the chains of mankind.

The Oak Harbor City Council quickly and unanimously approved an interlocal agreement with Island County which clears the way for construction of a 1.5-acre, off-leash dog park on the outskirts of the city.

The chunk of vacant land in question is at the end of Technical Drive, which is off Goldie Road north of town. The property is adjacent to Oak Harbor’s former landfill and was purchased by the city when the property was contaminated by spillage from the old landfill, according to city Public Works Superintendent Cathy Rosen.

The city continues monitoring the property for gases and water contamination from the garbage.

Like the dogs care.

Under the agreement, the land will became a county park. The county will lease the property for 10 years under the interlocal agreement. The county will be responsible for obtaining all permits, supervising and managing the park, land clearing, grading and fencing.

Members of the Whidbey non-profit group Free Exercise Time for Canines and Their Humans (FETCH) will undoubtedly help the county with all these chores, as they have at other dog parks on the island. They have been lobbying for a long time to have an off-leash park on the north end of the island. If the park is built, it will be the first north of Coupeville.

The city has agreed to be in charge of emptying the trash cans at the park and paying half the cost of a portable toilet.

Now that the agreement has passed the city council, the county will go through a site plan and environmental review process before construction can begin.

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