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Dog park location approved by city council

Dogs of Austin, along with their owners, finally have a set location in mind for a proposed dog park in the city.

The Austin City Council approved the location at its meeting Monday evening by a 6-1 vote. The area for the park will be at the south end of the 500 block on Second Street Southeast. The green space for the park would be 10 feet off that lot, running 220 feet west toward Main Street and 220 feet south toward the path following the river.

"We couldn't have asked for a more perfect spot," said Megan Burroughs, one of the founders of SPARK, a group of citizens who came together to organize an effort to bring a dog park to Austin.

Now that the location is official, SPARK can get the fundraising ball rolling; its goal is $25,000 to cover the cost of fencing and other expenses associated with the park.

Council member Brian McAlister was the lone vote against the dog park location. He said he could see an opportunity for more nice homes in that area, so he was unsure if the location was right.

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"I just don't think that's a good idea," McAlister said.

On the other hand, Mayor Tom Stiehm has been a supporter of bringing the dog park to Austin.

"We could reach one-third of our citizens," Stiehm said. "I'm obviously in favor of it."

Having a set location for the dog park comes after a lengthy process that started when SPARK presented its ideas to the council in April. The council has been supportive of the dog park ever since.

The long wait for the next step was to find a location, something SPARK and Kim Underwood, director of Austin's Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, worked on together.

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