The search for a new location for an off-leash dog park in Winkler is back on. 

Earlier this spring the city announced a portion of Scotia Park had been selected. 

Since then, City Manager Jody Penner says they've received some feedback from residents in the immediate and surrounding area with some concerns.

Concerns from residents ranged from noise, increased traffic, a lack of parking, some safety concerns, and concerns related to the use of the space for animals versus for kids.

"The dog park users are also a passionate group who believed that would have been a good location. The dog park is fenced in, owners are responsible for their animals, whether in the dog park or otherwise." 

Penner said the dog park users felt Scotia Park provided good walkability and was a central location.  "So, two very different opinions on both sides, but in the end, we just felt like we should reconsider that decision."

The search for a new dog park began over a year ago, with the anticipated Winkler Water Treatment plant expansion. The old off-leash park was located at the expansion site.

"In some ways, it's a little bit like when you renovate an arena. You must find alternate spaces if you can, and that's the case with the dog park. At this point, we've looked at many locations, and we've made what was a very hard decision to put that on the shelf for now."

At this point during all their annual projects, Penner said they don't have the resources to put more time into finding another location for this season. He said they will revisit the issue in the fall to see if they can find a solution for next season. 

Penner said it's very disappointing for the city to lose a level of service, even if it's temporarily.