Friday, September 17, 2021

FM dog park on horizon

A Parson Russell Terrier named Paddy was the push behind Elizabeth Covington’s desire to bring a dog park to Flower Mound several years ago. On Monday, Flower Mound Town Council members voted 3-1 to allow town staff to seek bids for the town’s first dog park off Garden Ridge Boulevard near Spinks Road.

The bid proposal followed discussion to itemize elements of the second of three options to allow the council to select what they wanted for the proposed 5-acre dog park before accepting a final bid.

Clint Wofford of Schrickel, Rollins and Associates of Arlington outlined three proposals, including one with two options for a dog park with price tags ranging from $704,648 upward to about $1.3 million.

The town council’s preferred option, at a preliminary estimate of $873,020, included a 1-acre area for small dogs at the north end of the Heritage East property with a 2.2-acre area for large dogs just south. A third area offers an option of a connecting bridge to an area that could be used for large dogs to allow town crews to rotate the large dog areas for upkeep and maintenance.

The plan included an estimated 40 parking slots, a chain link fence and a sidewalk from the entrance to shaded areas where park benches could be located. Other amenities proposed were a dog wash area, a drinking fountain for dogs and enhanced landscaping and signage – options council members asked to be listed separately for consideration.

All of the options included a 15-percent contingency plan to cover varied bid proposals – a point questioned by several council members. The only option that included lighting for the park was the third option, which Wofford said accounted for much of the cost difference between the second and third proposals.

“This is a tremendous amount of money,” said council member Steve Dixon. “I’m OK with $500,000 … not a penny more.”

Mayor Pro Tem Jean Levenick voted in favor of putting the second option to bid but with an eye to prioritizing money spent on parks. “It’s important to me that we bring our parks up to standard and minimize the new dog park,” she said. 

Covington, who spoke to the town council wearing a t-shirt bearing a photo of Paddy who died five years ago as of July, said she had worked on bringing a dog park to town for years, even working to bring a petition with at least 400 signatures to the town council.

“I’ve been patient, worked with the system and I’ve been nice,” she said. “It’s time to pick up a shovel, dig some dirt and get moving.”


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