FIRESTONE, Colo. (KDVR) — The town of Firestone is set to close two dog parks as of Wednesday, according to its website. But some residents are frustrated there was not more of a heads-up about the closures.
“Is there another place where dogs can run off-leash? I don’t care how they do it,” Michael Heller, who lives in Firestone, said.
Heller said he came down to the dog park and found a sign posted that it would be closing. Both of the parks sit in detention ponds.
Firestone closing dog parks because of permit
Firestone posted online the reason that they are relocating two dog parks in town.
“The Town of Firestone’s stormwater permit issued by the State of Colorado requires the Town to identify sources of stormwater pollution that may discharge from our storm sewer system into local rivers and streams,” the website reads. “Pet waste is one pollutant source containing high levels of bacteria that can impair our local waterways, making them unsafe for fishing and recreation.
“When it rains, pet waste and the harmful pathogens it contains runoff from the dog parks in Settlers Park and at Aisiks Dog Park, and enter into our storm sewer system before ultimately being discharged to our waterbodies untreated,” the explanation continues. “To address these major sources of stormwater pollution and ensure the Town maintains compliance with our stormwater permit, the dog parks located near our stormwater infrastructure and within detention ponds must be relocated.”
Firestone did post a survey for feedback on new locations for both dog parks but said they have now paused those plans.
“Earlier this year, the Town held a Neighborhood Meeting with residents who live near one of the proposed new locations,” the town adds. “Neighbors overwhelmingly expressed their preference that a dog park not be built at their neighborhood park. Because of this, the Town felt it was necessary to pause the plans for all of the new dog parks until additional Neighborhood Meetings could be held prior to proceeding with any relocations. We hope to have those meetings scheduled soon.”
‘I was disappointed,’ dog park visitor says
Heller said people at the dog park he goes to clean up after their dogs and are responsible.
“This drainage basin drains into a dirt mine pit on the other side of the hill here, and on the top of the hill across from that there is the dairy, where there is cow poop draining,” Heller said. “We need to let the dogs run and there should be excuses for that.”
Heller and other residents said the town should have already had another dog park up and ready to go prior to closing these parks. The town posted that during the week of March 13, staff will start to remove the fencing, shelters, trash cans, benches, dog bag stations and other items.
“Weather permitting, this process should be completed by April 15,” according to the town’s website.
“I was disappointed. I thought there would be more to it. More public notice,” Heller said.
Firestone releases statement on dog park closures
FOX31 and Channel 2 reached out to Firestone, which responded with a statement.
“We never like taking away any amenity that residents use and enjoy. Unfortunately, the Town’s actions are necessary to maintain compliance with our State mandated stormwater requirements. Going forward, we will work with the community and Board of Trustees as we look for ways to implement our Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan and meet resident needs,” the statement reads.