Dog park getting big paws up
Four-legged residents could soon have a place to call their own.
City Council reviewed some initial plans Monday to construct a dog park, inspired by about six other parks across North Texas that have names like Fort Woof, NorthBark Park and Central Bark.
Previously, advocates for the dog park were told by Burleson’s Director of Recreation and Lifelong Learning Marc Marchand that a dog park could possibly be open by 2017, with City Council approval. It has been a resident-driven project, he said.
While the amenities and cost are so far unsettled, City Council gave verbal support to the project Monday. It is a project that has been led from the City Council perspective by City Councilmen Ronnie Johnson, Dan McClendon and Dan-O Strong, Mayor Ken Shetter said.
A dog park project may be driven toward recreation of canines, but it also gathers residents, the presentation to City Council promised.
“I had not looked at it as a people gathering place,” McClendon said. “I see the point that it does bring people together. That’s really what the concept of a ‘people park’ is all about.”
City Council would fund the dog park through gas reserves. It has $350,000 reserved from park gas reserves and $1.17 million from cemetery gas reserves, for a total available of $1.52 million. All of those reserves would not likely be expended on a dog park.
Three proposals at two locations were presented to City Council. A dog park could be built on about 2.9 acres for $325,000 west of Hajek Elementary School. A second location would be near the Burleson cemetery with about 5.2 of 8 acres used for dog recreation areas at a cost ranging from $550,000 to $865,000, depending on amenities offered. The Hajek Elementary location would fit within the city budget allotment.
Annual maintenance and operational costs would range from $22,000 to $38,000, depending on which option City Council were to choose.
“I think they’re both good locations,” Shetter said.
He polled City Council to determine a preference they may have between the three proposals, with all members of City Council expressing a desire to at least fund the 2.9-acre option.
“This improves the area. It’s not just a nice purpose for the land,” Shetter said.
A poll of residents found that 56 percent would favor a dog park. The poll asked opinion on a variety of items related to parks and recreation interest.
The proposal would need to return to City Council for action prior to the beginning of construction.