SPRING CITY, Tenn. -- Clarence McAllister says the Spring City Nature Center is "a great place to come to," but it will be even better with a dog park.
McAllister said he or another family member brings Peanut, his 4-year-old Dachshund mix, to the park at least twice a day for exercise, but only on a leash. He said he and other pet owners will enjoy having a place for their dogs to romp and roam free apart from bicyclists and pedestrians.
On Friday, City Manager Vicki Doster said she had received permission from city leaders to research financial institutions that might fund the proposed $25,000 dog park.
"We're pressing with it," Doster said.
Doster added that she's gathering bids for the purchasing and installation of the necessary fencing, along with trash receptacles that pet owners can use to dispose of waste.
The dog park is scheduled for completion by this summer, she said.
Spring City has a strict, and strictly enforced, leash law, which officials adopted in an effort to try to lower the city's stray population.
Pet owner Jerry Dorfman, who brought his German shepherd, Dusty, to the nature park on Friday, agreed that a place where pets can slip the leash would provide them more freedom to play and exercise.
Some Spring City residents have suggested that the park also could use a place for skaters and fields for soccer or baseball.
In October 2011, Spring City officials met with representatives from the state economic board about branding their city and exploring options for "adventure tourism," to help boost the city's tourism and economy.
Originally, Doster said that an amphitheater was discussed but "tabled" for a later time.