Editorials

Dog park gets $84,000 in artificial turf, making it 'ruff' on taxpayers

Lilly, a local representative of the Dogs4Grass Committee, decried Edwardsville's decision to spend $84,000 on plastic turf for a new dog park. Besides the affront to taxpayers, she questioned whether humans would be happy sniffing plastic.
Lilly, a local representative of the Dogs4Grass Committee, decried Edwardsville's decision to spend $84,000 on plastic turf for a new dog park. Besides the affront to taxpayers, she questioned whether humans would be happy sniffing plastic.

If George Jetson were to take Astro for a romp in Edwardsville's future dog park, chances are he'd sniff the space-age surface and say, "Rut-ro, Reorge."

That's because the artificial turf will cost taxpayers $84,000. That's more than double the cost of what should be the main feature of a dog park — the fence.

Edwardsville Parks employee Katie Grable is in charge of the effort and said the artificial turf is made for dog parks and just needs an occasional hosing off. They need artificial turf because the spot they picked is small, shady and grass will not grow well there.

Picking a spot where grass will grow doesn't seem to be part of the equation.

Nor does being responsible for spending that kind of money to carpet a dog park. That's because Edwardsville is only investing $5,000. Most of the dog park money is coming out of $266,310 in park grants from Madison County.

Put some distance between the responsibility, the dollars and the taxpayers, and suddenly it's easy to spend $84,000 on artificial turf for a dog park. No fear of angry Edwardsville property taxpayers or of cutting city services when the money is "free" from the county.

Except that it all comes out of taxpayers' pockets. It's going to take a high-pressure hose to wash the stink out of this one.

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