LEWISTON — A downtown dog park sounds like fine idea, councilors said Tuesday — as long as pet owners and dog-related businesses will help build it.

Councilors voted to create a committee and find sponsors to help build an $11,000 off-leash park for dogs at the corner of Maple and Park streets.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Councilor Robert Reed said. “I think it would be very popular and well used, but I think we should talk to pet shops, pet hospitals, local veterinarians to see if they’d help sponsor this.”

According to staff plans, the park would cover a 0.27-acre lot. The area would be enclosed by a fence and include two plastic bag dispensing stations to collect pet waste, as well as signs, trees for shade, a gate and a fence to keep large dogs separate from small dogs.

Staff suggested councilors pay for it with federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

“I think that sounds like a tough sell right now, with the economy where it is,” Councilor Nelson Peters said.

Councilors began discussing the idea in May after hearing from residents who said that kind of off-leash park would be well-used by downtown residents and their pets.

An earlier plan included drinking water access, benches, landscape accessories such as boulders and fake fire hydrants and concrete slabs. It would have cost the city $46,000 to build.

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