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updated: 7/30/2014 10:43 AM

Wheeling might build small parks; puts dog park on hold

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Wheeling Village President Dean Argiris has proposed building five small "gathering places" on village-owned property inside neighborhoods.

In another park-related matter, the village board decided Monday that the Wheeling Park District should take the lead if a dog park is to be built in the community.

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Argiris said Monday he would ask the plan commission to identify five spots where the village might inexpensively put flowers, a bench and a garbage can.

"People who walk their dogs can meet friends and gather there," he said. "We could spruce up tired communities."

The Wheeling Village Board had previously asked staff to investigate establishing a dog park, but Village Manager Jon Sfondilis said it would be an expensive project.

"It's not a small endeavor," he reported Monday.

The board agreed to send the park district a "letter of support." Perhaps the village could help by donating land or even contributing money, said Sfondilis.

The park board and staff have "the expertise and understanding to do this in a manner that makes more sense," said the village manager.

The park district plans to survey residents next year and will ask specific questions about a dog park, he said.

"They want to find out if it is a real priority for residents and weigh it against other priorities," said Sfondilis.

He agreed with Trustee Kenneth R. Brady's suggestion that the former Dam 1 site near Hintz Road in the Cook County Forest Preserve system would be a good spot for a dog park.

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