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Keep an eye out for a future City Council meeting agenda to contain an item to officially approve this dog park project — here are some high-level updates, informed by our recent Recreation Committee meeting:

What’s happening with the dog park?

Last night, the Recreation Committee (which I am a member of) approved the City Managers’ recommended location of Millennium Park on Stackpole Road, along with an estimated budget of $45,000. Most of the cost is fencing in the roughly 23k-sqft area with 6-foot fencing perimeter, with 4-ft interior fencing separating large/small dog areas, plus a water/hose hookup feature (for filling dog water bowls), sign board, signage with park rules and marking big/small dog areas, etc.

What other locations and details were considered?

You can view the City Manager’s Memo on the dog park, including pros and cons of various city parks that were considered, here with the Public Notice of the February 5th meeting:

Who’s paying for it?

The source of funding will be discussed further when council officially takes the matter up for approval, but the City Manager has recommended we look at funding at least in part from the Cable Fund, which means this will *not* affect the budget that comes from property taxes. It has been discussed by the Rec Committee that we’d like to do a small capital campaign to raise funds to offset the cost even further. This would allow us to do focused community outreach to local businesses and make this a truly community-led and community-supported project.

A few other details to note

As currently proposed, the park would be closed in the winter, since Millennium Park is already closed during winter, and the additional and ongoing cost to keep the site plowed, etc., would be considerable. There would also be city-provided waste bag dispenser(s) and disposal bins.

I have discussed this project with many Somersworth residents and have heard lots of support. I look forward to continuing to hearing from you and am excited to discuss more specifics with my colleagues on the council.

I have thoughts, ideas, feedback or questions about this project!

Stay tuned for a specific date when this will be heard by council — but not need to wait! If you’d like to voice your support or ask any questions about this or any other City matter, every Council meeting has a “Comments by Visitors” section early on the agenda — you are always welcome!

And, you can always come to my next Coffee with a Councilor if you’d like to chat in a more informal setting.