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Council unanimously approves dog park

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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To the cheers and applause of a packed Rocklin City Council Chamber Tuesday night, the council unanimously approved plans for Rocklin’s first official dog park. Vicki Bottini Curtis, from Rocklin Residents Unite For Fido, or RRUFF, the dog-owners community group pushing for the park, said the volunteers are pleased. “We couldn’t be happier,” Curtis said. “They did a great job of moving it along to the next phase.” The city’s final proposal to the group is to provide up to $32,450 from the Whitney Ranch Park Improvement fund to complete partial improvements to a one-acre, off-leash park slated for the southwest corner of Lone Tree Community Park off West Oaks Boulevard. According to the city, RRUFF is to provide up to $11,550 in cash or in kind assistance to complete the project. “There are benchmarks before anything is completed,” Councilman Scott Yuill said at the meeting. Councilman Peter Hill said the agreement with RRUFF wasn’t unusual. “The concept of having RRUFF involved is a concept we’ve had for years with little league and softball,” Hill said. “They are participating jointly and actually sign a contract with us. This is a continuation of a process we’ve had for many, many years.” For example, the fencing material will be purchased by the city, but the installation of the fencing for the large and small dog park areas of the park will have to be done by RRUFF volunteers or a contractor supplied by RRUFF funds. That could be as much as $9,000 according to city documents. For Curtis, the success of the 16-month campaign to get the dog park is just heating up. “We are very happy with the turn-out,” Curtis said. “We need all the support, money, man power or people looking to join RRUFF.” Mayor George Magnuson stressed the park is for everyone. “You don’t have to be a member of RRUFF to use the facility,” Magnuson said. He hopes the park will generate revenue for businesses in the area as well as increase dog licensing in the city. “When you only have 1,500 dogs licensed in the city (right now) that’s a problem,” Magnuson said. Curtis said she hopes to get the word out about the advantages of dog licensing with the park effort. “It’s a part of our commitment to increase the number of dogs licensed,” Curtis said. The city of Rocklin’s animal ordinance requires that all dogs over the age of four months to be licensed with the city. Curtis said among other things, licensing provides proof of ownership and ensures all dogs are properly vaccinated against rabies. The off-leash park is expected to have rules and regulations for the park and be open at dawn and close one hour after sunset. It’s still too early to tell when the park will open. RRUFF is expected to meet with the Parks and Recreation Department soon to get the ball rolling. “A person who was going to speak and didn’t, because it wasn’t necessary, made a $500 donation to us tonight,” Curtis said. “So we got a jump start.” To learn more about RRUFF go to their website at http://rruff.vpweb.com.