The plan to construct Keokuk's first off-leash dog park in Riverview Park hit a bit of a snag as opposition surfaced to the proposed location. But that opposition could ultimately lead to a more favorable solution for all involved.
The opposition was led by Peggy Cottman and two other residents of Riverview Terrace, an apartment complex for seniors along S. 2nd Street. The plan being considered would locate the dog park in the western portion of Riverview Park, directly between Riverview Terrace and another apartment complex known as Mississippi Terrace.
That location previously received support from the city council and the park and recreation board, but Cottman told aldermen residents of the two buildings do not want the dog park that close to their front doors.
"There are pros and cons to dog parks any way you cut it," said Cottman. "I'm not saying it would happen here, but there is the possibility of the barking, there is the possibility of (people) not picking (waste) up. We just don't want it there. We want to be able to view the park."
Cottman stressed to aldermen that the residents support the idea of a dog park. They would just prefer a different location.
"We think the proper place, if they insist on putting it in Riverview Park, would be in the back of the park," said Cottman. "So it would not be directly between (the two complexes). If they move the dog park to the back, (they) will still have access to the park, they will still have space to run."
The alternate location, which is also owned by the city, would be closer to the bluff that overlooks the Keokuk Depot.
Carole Betts, who's been working with a group for about a year to open an off-leash dog park in Keokuk, said the location closer to the depot is preferred by the group.
"We like the trees and it is not too remote," said Betts. "The bluff is a nice bonus."
Betts said her group did not originally recommend the location closer to the depot because it thought the Keokuk Depot Commission had plans for the land.
Keokuk Mayor Tom Marion said he was not aware of any plan. He said he would check with his wife, Debbie -- who heads the commission -- and report back to all parties involved.