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Avondale Dogs in Willis Park?

Avondale dog park public hearing Monday before the regular Board of Commissioners meeting.

The Avondale Estates ad hoc dog park committee has selected a second site for consideration -- the back of Willis Park.

The committee, headed by Martha McDermott, came up with the new Willis Park site after their findings suggested the first site located near Lake Avondale may be too costly.

With two sites to choose from, the dog park committee will present both at a special public hearing at Avondale city hall at 7:30 p.m., Monday.

"We needed to have other options," said McDermott, during an interview at Willis Park Monday. "It came about last minute. We needed to explore other possibilities because it affects all the residents. This park location would be more cost effective."

The impetus for the second site came after the group began researching the costs on the first potential site, located south of Berkeley Road at Wiltshire Drive. Since March, the ad hoc committee has researched costs for fencing, dirt, water fountains, poop stations, and more.

But the committee's findings show that it may cost more than $30,000 to build a dog park at that location, according to documents and a recent Avondale Work Session.

For example, costs would be higher to install fencing, water lines, and more, since currently, those things do not exist at the site. There's also no adequate shade for dogs and their owners. The group also found it more difficult to get an exact price for soil stabilization.

"We want it to be a great park for everyone," McDermott said.  "We could not get a firm estimate on how much it will cost to stabilize the soil and we wouldn't want to spend taxpayer money on unknowns."

If the dog park were to be added in the back of Willis Park, it could be planned as part of a renovation of the park, which the Mayor and Board of Commissioners discussed at the May 18 work session. The city is forming an ad hoc committee to upgrade Willis Park.

Costs for Willis Park, if selected, could be much less than $30,000, the cost of the other site, though no figure was provided.

Dogs are not currently allowed at Willis Park. But McDermott said that the dog park would keep its own separate entrance and the Forrest Boulevard side would remain fenced as is without any access.

No matter which site is selected, the timing is still unclear, given that any dog park is yet approved.

"It's been a thoughtful process and once we get permission it will progress," McDermott said. "We want to do it right and time is not the priority, getting it right is the priority."

Susan Chapman June 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM
There should be a dog park. It's a wonderful addition to increase the community feel for Avondale.
RoadbondGuy June 17, 2011 at 04:43 PM
A dog park is only as good as the dog owners that use it. A nice community like this should really enjoy it! I'm am interested in the issue of soil stabilization. A more permanent solution might be Roadbond EN 1. This product actually changes the property of clay soils. Cost would be about $0.07 per square foot. Follow the link below or message me if you have any questions. @RoadbondGuy http://roadbondsoil.com/video.html

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