Dogs would have a place to run by next year under a proposal that would build a 37,000-square-foot dog park downtown.
TALENT — Dogs would have a place to run by next year under a proposal that would build a 37,000-square-foot dog park downtown.
The City Council will consider a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Commission that a dog park be built just north of City Hall when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Center, 206 Main St.
Parks Commissioner Janet Chose said her Australian shepherd mix would be a frequent user.
“I used to go to the Ashland dog park when she was a puppy. I thought it was good for her, but it became kind of a chore to drive there,” said Chose. “I would definitely use the one in Talent because it is closer.”
“Talent needs its own dog park,” said Parks Commissioner Darby Stricker. “A lot of organizations have asked for this over the years.”
Efforts to get a dog park were under way when Stricker was first appointed to the commission in 2002. She said she’d bring both her border collie and Australian shepherd mix to the park.
Bordered by railroad tracks on the west, the L-shaped parcel of city land is designated for future expansion of the civic center.
“If we did a resolution to make it a dog park, we would have a disclosure so we could take it back in 20 to 30 years,” said City Manager Jay Henry. He hopes the park would be open within a year or less if the council approves.
The park would include fencing, a gravel parking area for 10 vehicles, seating and a dog watering station. An irrigation system would be installed at the site and a granite path would run round the perimeter. There also would be a dog introduction area with two gates. Restrooms are available in the civic center near the library.
Funds for the park would come from system development charges for park construction that are assessed to new buildings. The cost is estimated at $27,370.
“It’s centrally located. It will draw people to the downtown area,” said Stricker. “It’s very walkable and the roads at that location are all very well-developed with sidewalks and bike paths. It will be easy to develop and relatively inexpensive.”
Commissioners also considered building the dog park near the police station at 604 Talent Ave. in an area adjacent to a BMX park and Little League fields.
That site would have encompassed 18,000 square feet and cost $17,825.
Commissioners unanimously endorsed the downtown site.
“It was nice that they had a wide spot and a pretty long part for the dogs to run,” said Chose. “That’s what it is all about, for them to run, not be on a leash.”
Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.