By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A proposed dog park met with massive enthusiasm from many of Wausau’s dog owners is expected to cost taxpayers $131,631 to construct, according to preliminary estimates released this week.

But that cost could could drop, as city leaders aim to solicit private and foundation donations to help defray the cost of creating and maintaining the park, which could open as early as this year. Members of the activist Facebook group WausDog have formed a Wausau Dog Park steering committee to assist city officials in making the park a reality.

The 2-acre parcel, located at  224 S. Fourth Street, was selected over three alternate sites scattered around the city and is subject to DNR approval due to necessary environmental remediation of the land.

The biggest single expense is a 5-foot vinyl fence projected to cost $26,800, according to city documents. An irrigation system, parking and asphalt, shade shelter and turf are the other most expensive items on the list. See the full document embedded below.

Site of a proposed 2 acre dog park in Wausau

Pages from PREC_20180205_Packet

8 replies on “City gets first look at proposed dog park cost estimates”

  1. This seems a bit excessive. I do not know any dog park in the region with an irrigation system. A shade shelter could be replaced by, well, trees. Weston does not have one, Kronenwetter does not have, Plover and Stevens Point do not have them. This seems an unneeded expense. In such a small space you do not need TEN benches. Though, unlike more substantial parks, the smallness will force congregation.

  2. Significantly missing from these costs are:

    1) what was the cost to taxpayers to originally buy this piece of property, presently owned by the Community Development Agency; and

    2) this is a brownfield site (“brownfield site” means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant” per What is the cost to taxpayers of remediating this site, and what are taxpayers being charged for that?

  3. AHA! I think we are on to something Max. How much will it cost to do that? The other site at River Side Park, it is not a brownfield, but rather just an unused piece of park.

    I hope Wausau Pilot will follow up with that question.

  4. $26k for an irrigation system in a freaking DOG PARK???????? For the love of God…. “Human” parks don’t have irrigation systems and we’re not even allowed to do a #1 to assist in the “irrigation” like dogs will.
    Again…..our illustrious city council at work. Take your dog to the park where it can irrigate and fertilize the grass, but do NOT light up a cig or you’d get arrested. Could we please attempt to vote ADULTS in to the city council next election?

  5. I could not help but notice thst the cost for making this piece of property safe to walk on was omitted. If I am not mistaken this property was once occupied by a company thst recycled car batteries. So there is a possibility thst it is heavily polluted. It could codt thousands to make it safe for dogs and humans.

  6. Certainly a noble idea and the location not likely a sought after spot for other business. It still requires most users to drive there as it isn’t a viable walk from most residential densities. Irrigation for a 2 acre plot seems a bit high at $26K. They are installing a new water line and hydrant that could be tapped to provide hose irrigation during limited times of drought. The crux of the luxuries (shelter, irrigation, etc) need to be paid for by users and donors, not the city.

  7. I wanted to add some stuff. I talked to a member of the committee, and he conveyed that the brownfield thing was a known issue, and his sense was that this has already been completed. I have no idea, and honestly would not know how to look it up. Maybe a journalist could.

    The other bit of this, I am a dog park enthusiast. We have visited every dog park we can find from Minocqua to Beloit. So, I thought I had a substantive response to offer.

    This proposal lacks the common sense and understanding of someone who has never visited a dog park, and apparently has not consulted with anyone who has. Let me be specific…

    1. Irrigation System. I believe the idea with this is maintaining grass. This is normal in a park for people, and makes sense. But, in a park full of dogs, it is a bad idea. So, the city will embed tiny pieces of plastic that pop up from the surface of the dirt. You know what dogs love to do, dig in dirt, and try to pick up stuff from the ground to play with it. Those little sprinkler heads are just going to be beloved chew spots for pups.

    2. Shade Structure. Trees. Just saying. Dogs like peeing on trees. They like playing around them. Trees.

    3. Benches. Weston is 40 acres, and has 3 picnic tables (all second hand I think) and 2 benches. Ten benches in such a small space seems nuts. Also, people will sit on them, and dogs will jump on benches to say hi to people, and somepeople do not dig that. Standing Rocks is about 20 acres, and has 2 benches. Kronenwetter has no benches. Antigo no benches if I remember right. Stevens Point, no benches.

    4. No inclusion of amenities for dogs. Agility stuff, structures to climb on. Dogs like them.

    5. Parking and Asphalt Base. Not to beat a dead horse, but this 14K could be avoided by putting the dog park in either of the suggested parcels in Riverside Park. Just putting it out there.

    6. Hydrant and Drinking Fountain. These are good things, and important, and to return to the dead horse, would not be needed at Riverside Park. Though, if you look at the Minocqua or Standing Rocks dog park, you can see great implementation of faucets. If you look at Weston, our faucet is on the bathroom outside of the park, but we self police the bringing of gallons of water for the dogs. (seeing a theme here?)

    It is my hope that the Committee will actively seek out voices of dog park people in the community, and get their feeling on this. I fear that this dollar amount is not something our council will be able to support in the current budget realities.

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