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City seeks costs for dog park

Release date:2014/12/10]     Hits:[]   

Lake Geneva will be issuing requests for proposals to companies interested in helping the city create a dog park.

Dan Winkler, utility and public works director, told the Lake Geneva Board of Park Commissioners on Dec. 3 that the requests will go out after Christmas.

He said three companies have expressed interest in providing fencing for the park.

The dog park would be the last of four improvements to the Dunn Field complex, just south of Eastview School on Sage Street.

The skateboard park was completed two years ago, and the disc golf course officially opened this summer, along with the new concession stand.

For the past two years, the park commission has discussed putting a dog park on city-owned land that was once part of the former Hillmoor Golf Course.

Park commissioners have gone to other cities to study their dog parks and the fences and rules used to keep the dogs in the parks and under control.

The proposed Lake Geneva dog park area is a lozenge-shaped plat of land about 360 feet long and about 140 feet wide, located between the disc golf course and the skate park.

The park would need about 1,400 lineal feet of fencing. Commissioners also talked about installing four dog clean-up stations, a dog drinking fountain and some picnic tables and benches.

Dogs are prohibited from other city parks.

Although tentatively named the White River Dog Park, the board has also discussed the possibility of selling naming rights to raise funds.

The major expense of a dog park is its fencing, said Doug Skates, commission chairman. The canine playgrounds are basically large fenced-in areas where dogs can run free without leashes.

The fences have to go down deep enough to keep dogs from digging under them, and high enough to keep larger dogs from jumping over.

Estimates put the cost of fencing for the proposed Lake Geneva dog park at $26,000, although Dan Winkler, utility and public works director, said he thought the city could get fencing at a lower price.

In October, the park commission was informed that between its park fees and park impact fees, the park fund had slightly more than $54,000.

With that money available, the park commission decided it was time to close the deal on creating the dog park, something that has been in the works for two years.

Preliminary plans called for separating large dogs from small dogs, which would have required additional fencing.

And while the separate areas for small and large dogs remains an option, it may not be part of the park when it’s built.

However park commissioners talked about adding to the park as resources allow.

The park board could also charge a fee for entering the park. Members of the park board had researched dog parks in other communities, and found that at some parks fees were collected on the honor system.

Tentative plans also showed an entry for dogs and dog owners on the south side of the park.

The entryway would be paved, and a sidewalk will parallel the fence.

Dog clean up stations would also be posted around the park.

The commissioners have yet to put together a comprehensive list of doggie dos and don’ts for the park, but they all agree that dogs in the park must be licensed.

Dog parks are not unusual, and Walworth County recently opened its own dog park and exercise area at the Price Park Conservancy N6499 Hodunk Road, town of LaFayette. That park is a one-acre off-leash canine play area featuring a 5-foot chain link fence with double-gated entry, picnic tables, benches, a hitching post and doggy mitt receptacles.

The county estimated the project cost $12,000 and was a part of the county’s park and open space plan.