NORTHBOROUGH – Residents had a chance to take a closer look at the details of a proposed dog park off Boundary Street on Jan. 10.
This marked the second community meeting regarding the dog park, and the town and its consultants sought feedback on the 75% construction documents.
At the first community meeting, town staff and its consultants Weston & Sampson presented four potential locations for a dog park. In December, the Board of Selectmen gave the thumbs up for the dog park to be located on a site on Boundary Street.
At that time, Director of the Department of Public Works Scott Charpentier said that the town had purchased the land in the 1960s with intention of building a sanitary sewer treatment plant. However, the Department of Public Health later directed the town to instead discharge to a Marlborough plant.
“The concept and the main idea of the dog park is to embrace the wood area, the existing conditions and to maintain as many trees as we can,” said Landscape Designer Jeanette Cantu.
The dog park would include small and large dog areas with a pavilion in between. Combined, it would make up approximately 1.2 acres, which would be fenced in with a five-foot tall chain link fence.
According to the presentation, the town is proposing a number of amenities, including benches, trash receptacles, leash posts, a waste station and a water filler station on each side. Within the dog park, there would be boulders that could be used as seating for the owners or items on which the dogs can play.
Cantu also presented potential agility equipment for the dogs, such as weave posts and hoop jumps.
There would be 10 parking spaces. However, Cantu noted that they are proposing to have an overflow lot as well.
The presented design shows stone dust as the current base bid surface with wood chips in the more natural areas of the park.
However, team leader Johnathan Law presented the alternate surface K9 Grass, which describes itself as a “synthetic grass surface for dog environments.”
Law noted that K9 Grass would be the most expensive to install compared to the stone dust or other alternatives like wood chips, engineering wood fiber or gravel.
However, he said K9 Grass would involve less maintenance and is accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to Charpentier, a construction bid package would be put out that would meet the budget for the project. However, he said that the bid could contain items that would be “bid alternatives,” meaning if the bidding environment is aggressive or costs come down, the project could accommodate amenities such as the K9 grass.
Like all of Northborough’s recreation facilities, the dog park would be open dawn to dusk.
This project is currently before the Community Preservation Committee for funds for the construction of the dog park, and the town is seeking grant funds for the project.
If everything is awarded, final design and permitting would occur over the summer with construction bids shortly thereafter. Weather permitting, construction may begin in the early fall and wrap up in the spring with plans to open it in the late spring or early summer.