Dog park plan under consideration at Colony Park in Hudson
City leaders discussing need for stormwater detention pond and how it will affect proposal
HUDSON — Dogs may have a place to play and meet other furry friends in the city some time this year.
City staff members are working on a preliminary design for a dog park at Colony Park, 6075 Ogilby Drive, and will present the concept to the park board in the next two months, according to Trent Wash, assistant director of public works.
After the concept is shown to the park board, Wash said the next steps would be installing fencing and other features. He added officials hope to have the park up and running some time this year.
Wash said the cost to install the dog park is estimated at $75,000 to $80,000, but funds have not yet been appropriated for the project. The money would cover expenses associated with fencing, concrete, water and various features.
Placement of stormwater pond may affect dog park plans
One issue still being discussed is whether a third stormwater detention pond needs to be put in at Colony Park and, if it does, how that would affect the plans for a dog park.
The city recently installed two stormwater detention ponds at Colony Park and "held [the space eyed for the dog park] in reserve as a potential third pond," according to Council member Skylar Sutton (Ward 3).
Hudson City Engineer Brad Kosco told council in late January that a third stormwater pond at Colony Park was "originally not constructed as it didn't have that much benefit."
However, Kosco said at that time he wanted "to re-examine that and … report to council before we move forward with a project."
On Wednesday, Sutton said the engineering department had not yet reported to council on this issue.
"It is of specific interest to me because we have not-insignificant flooding on Elmcrest and Ravenna Street each year, which feed into the same system as these ponds," said Sutton. "I just want to make sure we don't anticipate needing a third pond anymore before we commit to building on it."
City spokesperson Jody Roberts on Wednesday said the engineering and parks departments are discussing "the placement of the dog park in relationship to a possible stormwater detention pond. No decisions have been finalized at this point."
Roberts added that, "Depending on the size of the dog park, both might be able to be accommodated, but the discussions are ongoing."
Colony Park is within a neighborhood and Sutton added he's also heard concerns from "a handful of residents" about potentially loose dogs in the area and noise.
Sutton emphasized the dog park proposal is "still in a plan/design phase so I am confident we can find something that works."
Survey lists dog park as unmet need
A dog park was one of the items that park board members discussed with council at a meeting in January.
Council members at that time expressed support for the dog park proposal.
"I think a lot of people in the community would like a dog park," said Council member Chris Foster (Ward 2). "I'm pretty supportive of this."
Sutton said he felt the community is "desiring this and in need of it."
The ETC Institute in December 2019 and January 2020 conducted a survey of 485 households where residents were asked about their usage and opinions of park facilities, as well as whether they felt their needs were being met by the parks.
Unleashed dog parks were the third-highest unmet need listed in the survey results and it was categorized as a "high priority investment."
After touring some parks in June 2020, park board member Linda O'Neil said the board decided the field at Colony Park "would be a prime location for the dog park."
According to O'Neil, Colony Park was singled out because: it has 2.65 acres of land; is rarely used for organized activities; is not as active as other parks; has access to a water supply; has "ample" parking; and has restrooms on site.
The site is also in walking distance of multiple neighborhoods and neighborhoods that are north of the railroad tracks can access the park from a pedestrian bridge.
O'Neil said there is enough space at Colony Park to set up separate areas for large and small dogs.
"We feel this provides really excellent value and is something that can be done in a timely manner to show residents our responsiveness to their needs," said O'Neil.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.