Supporters concerned about change to Dayton’s new dog park

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Deeds Point Dog Park supporters worried about relocation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

City says dog park will be bigger, better than existing site.

Supporters and users of one of Dayton’s only dog parks said they are worried that a new replacement park under construction won’t have all of the amenities they were promised.

“We’re very, very grateful that (the city) is building us a new park,” said Butch Richardson, president of the Friends of Deeds Point Dog Park. “But our No. 1 concern is they be forthright with us ... we hope the city will work with us.”

Jeff Green, a city planner, said rising construction costs meant the city had to reduce the size of a new concrete walking path, but it has committed to spending 60% more than originally anticipated on the project and no other planned components have changed.

“The city has increased the budget for this project from $250,000 to $400,000 to make (and keep) a number of upgrades to the site and complete the construction of the dog park,” he said.

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A dog at Deeds Point Dog Park rests on a picnic table at the park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A dog at Deeds Point Dog Park rests on a picnic table at the park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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A dog at Deeds Point Dog Park rests on a picnic table at the park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Deeds Point Dog Park, located at North Bend Boulevard and Deeds Park Drive north of downtown, is expected to close in less than two months after a decade in operation to make way for a new private school.

Dayton is creating a new dog park in Triangle Park about a mile and a half north of the current property.

Construction began on the new park in April and is expected to be completed by the end of June.

The city originally put $250,000 from the sale of the land for the new school toward the cost of the new park.

Recently, the city approved an amendment to the purchase and sale agreement to provide an additional $50,000 to pay for the park relocation.

City staff said they also have committed another $100,000 on top of that because the price of the project has gone up because of increased material and labor costs.

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The city proposes moving Deeds Point Dog Park to this site at Triangle Park. CONTRIBUTED

The city proposes moving Deeds Point Dog Park to this site at Triangle Park. CONTRIBUTED

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The city proposes moving Deeds Point Dog Park to this site at Triangle Park. CONTRIBUTED

City officials promised that the new park would be bigger and better than the current one, Richardson said.

But Richardson said he is concerned other proposed amenities might be scaled back or scrapped, such as a canopy.

“(The trail) was one of the biggest items we discussed with them from day one,” Richardson said. “We (could) get stuck with a path that is nothing like what we expected.”

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A dog hangs out on the top of a picnic table at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

A dog hangs out on the top of a picnic table at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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A dog hangs out on the top of a picnic table at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Richardson said dog park supporters should have been consulted before construction plans were altered because they could have helped decide what elements to prioritize and may be able to come up with some funding solutions, like private donations.

Richardson said dog owners really liked some of the proposed features, which will help make up for losing a park with a great location and popular qualities like a highly used wooded area.

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Butch Richardson plays with dogs at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Butch Richardson plays with dogs at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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Butch Richardson plays with dogs at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Green, the city planner, said the new concrete walking path is shorter than originally planned, but it is about 745 feet in length, which is a lot longer than the 490-foot path at the existing facility. It’s also ADA accessible, while the current one is not.

The new dog park will be 4 acres, while the existing park is 2.8 acres.

The new park will have separate areas for small and large dogs, two shelters within the enclosed area and new lighting and a paved parking area, Green said.

“The new dog park will certainly be bigger, and better, then the existing dog park at Deeds Point,” he said.

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Dogs play around at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dogs play around at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

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Dogs play around at Deeds Point Dog Park. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The city also wants Friends of Deeds Point Dog Park to sign an agreement clarifying the roles of the city and the nonprofit when it comes to the operation of the park.

The nonprofit says it will need to get insurance and will have other obligations it is concerned about.

The city says the memorandum of understanding will give Friends of Deeds Point Dog Park a permanent home while allowing it to receive keys to the bathrooms and gates and utilize the park with agreed upon hours outside of the usual hours of operation for other city parks.

Emily Broyles, treasurer of Friends of Deeds Point Dog Park, said it is disappointing that the new walking path only loops around about a quarter to a third of the park instead of the entire thing.

The city modified the project without collecting input from dog owners and dog park supporters, she said, adding that many people care deeply about the park and want a new facility that is as special as the one it is replacing.

“The (city) said it didn’t have the funds, which while sad, I understand,” Broyles said. “But what they didn’t do was give us an opportunity to reallocate the funds or find sponsorships or make a decision ourselves to figure out how to correct it.”

She said the memo the city wants Friends of Deeds Point Dog Park to sign also seems to shift a lot of responsibility onto the nonprofit.

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