CRESTVIEW — Construction has yet to begin on the proposed site of Crestview’s first dog park.
The Community Redevelopment Agency approved the Bark Park in June 2016, and fundraising began immediately afterward to convert a site in Twin Hills Park to a dog-friendly location.
“[The city’s] still working on a site plan is my understanding,” CRA Director Brenda Smith said, adding the project has been slowed down by possible need for a retention wall due to the site’s location near James Lee Boulevard.
“It’s taking longer because you have to ensure compliance with EPA and different agencies when it comes to drainage,” she said.
The park last December reached its fundraising goal with a $62,000 donation on behalf of Crestview resident Ted Simmons. The project is being funded entirely by donations — thus far over $65,000 — and recreation grant money.
Although site plans are still being evaluated and developed, the CRA and Main Street Crestview Association have several amenities they are requiring to meet their criteria.
These features include separate large and small dog areas, benches, agility equipment, a gazebo or awning area and an entrance card swipe.
Eventually, the park could have a water feature for dogs to play in, according to a press release from December.
The entrance feature would be used to implement a payment method for park use. Residents would pay a $25 annual fee, non-residents $35. These fees would be paid to the city after dog owners present a copy of standard vaccination records. Collected money could then be recycled back into the park for repairs or maintenance.
Progress inquiries have been made at several City Council meetings. Wayne Steele, director of public services and charged with implementation of the project’s logistics, has repeatedly said the city was working with engineers to develop an appropriate plan for the site.
The project hasn’t had an estimated completion date since its inception but was expected to be in the 2017 calendar year.
The CRA and Main Street association anticipated the Bark Park to open sometime in March. Smith was unable to provide an updated timeline for the project but is still hopeful for completion in the coming months.
Steele did not return phone calls on the matter; a city representative said he is the most appropriate contact in the public services department.
Mayor David Cadle, who doesn’t have official oversight in the project, did not respond to an email about the endeavor.