By Dennis Minich
A popular request from residents in Harrisonville has been for a dog park, a place where people can bring their dogs and take them off their leashes. The Harrisonville Park Board formed a committee, and it met for the first time last week to try to make those requests comes true.
Chris Deal, parks and recreation director, said the board would like to make the park a reality, but several details remain to be addressed.
“There have been many requests from citizens. This is not only a common request here, but nationally the two most common requests are for walking trails and dog parks. The park board decided to dedicate $2,000 from the park foundation as seed money and directed staff to form a committee.
“We are looking at fundraising, a potential location and reviewing examples from other cities on how theirs are built.”
The committee met last week and determined fundraising would start with two events. Proceeds from a golf tournament July 26 will be set aside for the fund and the annual doggie dive at the outdoor pool will also be utilized.
The golf tournament will be at Hoots Hollow beginning at 8:30 a.m. The doggie dive is held annually after the outdoor pool season has ended. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. A cost of $5 per dog will charged and food sales will be contributed to the fund.
Deal said the cost of the park would likely be in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.
“The price really varies by cities. They range from somewhere around $25,000 all the way up to a half-million dollars. Lee’s Summit’s cost $250,000,” he said.
Deal said the major costs are for fencing and for lines to run water to the location.
Funds have to be raised because there is no money in the park budget for construction. All of those funds are going to the bonds on the community center which will not be paid off until the end of 2022.
“We haven’t chosen a site. So far, we have identified areas in Lord’s Park, City Park and on the lot at Independence and Ash streets, but something else might come up as well,” he said.
Although it is early in the process, Deal said the plans will be to keep it a free park and people will be responsible for cleaning up after their own dogs.
The committee includes members of the park board, the board of aldermen, the police department, animal control and interested residents.
Deal said he hopes fundraising can be completed by the end of the year, and the park could be up and running sometime next year.