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Advertising could lead to lower dog park fees

Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 3:16 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 11:40 p.m. CDT

McHENRY – Advertising will be allowed in McBark Dog Park, the first McHenry park to have it, the McHenry City Council decided Monday.

Revenue generated from allowing the 2-foot by 4-foot color banners could translate to lower user fees in the future, Deputy City Administrator Bill Hobson said.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially if it will allow us to lower the fees,” said Alderwoman Geri Condon, adding that she has heard a lot of complaints about costs.

The annual membership fees – which cost $75 for residents and $125 for nonresidents, plus $10 per additional animal – have been criticized for running significantly higher than the fees set by other area park districts, municipalities and counties that operate dog parks.

The rates were designed to cover the cost of maintaining the park, Hobson said.

It would take about 200 residents to cover the approximately $15,000 a year the city estimates it will cost to maintain the park, according to Parks and Recreation Committee meeting minutes.

So far, 86 users have registered 107 dogs, according to city documents.

The cost estimate includes mowing, providing bags for dog waste, conducting daily maintenance such as trash pickup, and routine maintenance such as trimming trees, removing brush and maintaining the wood chip and limestone paths.

But some of that cost could now be covered by the newly approved advertising, which will cost $500 for a business located in the city limits and $750 for a nonresident business.

The businesses would have to be pet related.

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