By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The city is discussing the possibility of creating a dog park for residents and their dogs to play and socialize.
The park was addressed during the April 26 City Council meeting, where the $138,680 cost was on the agenda for approval by the finance department.
“There has been interest expressed by residents in the city to develop a dog park here,” Council President Susan Dabaja said. “The Recreation Department has taken a lead in promoting this amenity for Dearborn residents especially since our city parks are currently off limits to dogs.”
A proposed location for the park is on more than 2 acres of city-owned land behind Henry Ford Centennial Library with ample parking and central location for residents.
There will be two sections at the park, one for small dogs and another for larger dogs.
“The administration researched comparable facilities in developing in design for the dog park that will be functional and attractive,” Dabaja said.
The special land use for the location was approved during a March 7 Planning Commission meeting.
The dog park will only be accessible by Dearborn residents who will be required to pay an annual membership fee which could be in the $30 to $50 range and keep their dogs up to code.
Hours of operations for the park are not set yet, but could be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. depending on the seasonal changes Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said.
“The park is great for socialization for the dogs and persons who own the dogs,” he said. “The location is central to the city and accessible to everybody.”
A few design elements for the dog park will include a vinyl coated chain link fencing, electronic gate entry, benches, disposal stations and drinking fountains for both people and dogs.
Fencing for the park could cost around $35,000 and wireless Internet for key access entry is around $15,000.
“We’re in budget right now and we’re proposing to raise the taxes again on residents, so I’m looking at this and thinking, ‘Do we need two-and-a-half acres for a dog park?’” Councilman Michael Sareini said. “Could we get away with half an acre?”
At the end of the discussion the council made the motion to postpone the item to get more information from the Recreation Department before making a decision.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)