A Worthington dog park is no longer a distant dream. Worthington City Council wants one now, as in this year.

A Worthington dog park is no longer a distant dream. Worthington City Council wants one now, as in this year.

In front of a full house of dog lovers at its Jan. 19 meeting, council voted unanimously to support a resolution stating its "support for the creation of a dog park in or near Worthington during 2010."

The canine supporters were on hand because of a threat that the proposed dog park would get bogged down in bureaucracy.

In fact, Phil Miller, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, told council that the commission supported the dog park, but wanted it to be considered along with other projects as part of its Vision 20/20 planning process.

He said the commission was concerned about economics and that it should be considered along with other projects in the planning document, which is just now being developed.

The trouble is, a group of dog park supporters has pledged to raise private funds to build and operate a Worthington dog park, and they are ready to get moving.

If they had to wait for the completion of the 20/20 report, the dog park would not move forward for 18 months, said council member Scott Myers.

"You're being a little more cautious than need be," council member Dave Norstrom told Miller. "Let us and city management look at what we can afford."

All council members present said they support a dog park, and council member Michael Duffey presented his own resolution that, with some changes, was approved by council.

It requests a report on possible sites by April 30.

Worthington Organized Off-Leash Friends (WOOF), led by Jennifer Lyon, has been meeting for less than a year trying to create a park.

Hundreds of volunteers have stepped forward to offer support and expertise. The issue has been studied, parks in other communities have been visited, and several possible sites have been targeted.

The two sites now under study are Godown Road Park, which is owned by the city of Worthington but located outside the city limits on Godown Road, just west of Linworth Road, and the flats.

Godown is being used to raise trees for the city.

It is five acres, offers shade; land to design a wading pool, an information board, areas for large and small dogs; and parking. It is also located far enough from residential areas to avoid conflicts.

The flats is the other area being considered. It is three acres located west of Thomas Worthington High School. It is three acres, a more central location, and shaded.

The commission is to consider both sites.

In celebration of the council commitment to a dog park, WOOF will hold a party this Sunday, Jan.31, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Township Hall, 67 E. Granville Road. There will be a raffle and free food. All are asked to bring photos of their dogs for a "Dogs of Worthington" display board.