Controversy over Collierville dog parks

(WMC-TV) - The Collierville board of alderman approved a new dog park, Monday night. The problem is they approved another one earlier this summer and now the two sides are fighting it out like cats and dogs.

The city allocated $20,000 for a new dog park at Suggs Park. On the other hand, Collierville resident, Chris Cornell, is behind the already approved $135,000 dog park at W.C. Johnson Park.

"It's clear though there has been some kind of mess here," Cornell said.

Sides behind both projects exploded during the Collierville meeting when aldermen approved the animal services Suggs park dog park and then took back their vote on the one Cornell has supported at Johnson Park.

"We have a political fight and the way that vote went down was not good for what I was trying to accomplish," Cornell said.

Cornell said he has a 1,400 signature petition proving Collierville residents want to see the bigger more elaborate Johnson park project completed. He also says the only reason it was rescinded is because animal services has come out in opposition.

Many at Monday night's meeting voiced concern that Cornell, a citizen, was being given too much power over the park

"It has become personal on both sides," said Nina Wingfield, Director of Collierville Animal Service.

Wingfield says her group is not opposed to a dog park at Johnson Park, but does not like how Cornell went about planning it without the Collierville parks and Recreation and Animal Services deeply involved.

"How did this turn into such controversy," Wingfield said. "We're talking about dog parks?" I don't know. I think it's a good thing we started talking so much about it."

The Johnson dog park could still happen. The board just decided to hold public hearings and include more people in the process.

In the end Collierville could get two dog parks. Action News 5 will keep you posted.

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