Ferndale Dog Park Plans Proceed

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(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 23, 2015)

Ferndale City Council voted Monday to move ahead with plans to build a dog park at Wilson Park near University High School. The baseball diamond will be removed and a fenced-in area will go up so dogs can run around without a leash. There will be a big dog side and a little dog side, plus a doggie drinking fountain and cleanup area. Council approved spending $17,409 on the fence, which includes a double-gate access point so one gate won’t open unless the other is closed.

steele lindbloom adThe decision to put in a dog park came from resident feedback to a Parks Study by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. City Staff took a public comment on the project, and the project was presented to Council (and the public) in February.

DPW Director Loyd Cureton said feedback to the public comment period was “overwhelmingly positive,” and that the only two concerns raised were with parking and hours of operation. Cureton said that in the future if more parking is needed, a roller rink could be removed at the park. He also said that gates will be electronically controlled, so they will be locked completely after hours. Access will be with an electronic key card.

“This is one of those instances where me personally, I am completely against a dog park. But this is something that the residents wanted. And because they wanted it and there is overwhelming MBREW draft onesupport for it, it’s not something I’m going to argue with,” said Councilperson Greg Pawlica who has also been instrumental in bringing the park from wish to reality in his role on the Commission.

“The Commission was very diligent in identifying exactly what they wanted for the dog park. They took their time. They didn’t just rush into creating a space and then finding out later it doesn’t work right. They wanted to make sure that the park had the right foundation to be able to expand it properly, but also the right location, so the lease amount of people would be impacted,” Pawlica said.

Installation should be complete in a few weeks, and in the meantime officials will work on 711 ad slurpeecoming up with rules, membership fees, etc.

Voters recently approved just under $2 million in funding for parks improvements.

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