HUDSON — The Hudson Select Board approved the authorization to sign a $29,000 contract with Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture for design and consulting services for the planned Hudson Dog Park, an effort that has been years in the making.
At the March 27 Select Board meeting, Director of Recreation Steven Santos explained that the Park Commission decided to make this park a priority.
A citizens group called Hud Dog formed around 2016 to support the effort to bring a dog park to Hudson. Five years ago, in 2018, the Park Commission conducted a survey to figure out what the Hudson community wanted in the town, and a dog park emerged as a top priority from that survey.
When the town’s Master Plan was done in 2020, Sauta Fields was a potential site for the park, said Santos.
“Then COVID hit, things slowed down and here we are,” said Santos.
There is available grant funding to be found for the dog park, he said.
While the Hud Dog group believes that Sauta Fields is a good candidate for a site, there is also the option of using Farina Field. The Park Commission will have public meetings and a possible survey as the process unfolds and a contract is signed.
The construction grant funds will come from the Stanton Foundation Canine Welfare Grant program, according to official information provided on the Park Commission online portal.
“The largest funding source for this project will come from the Stanton Foundation, and this afternoon, I had the pleasure of listening to Joe Connelly, the liaison of the Stanton Foundation,” said Santos.
He met with Connelly and established a relationship with him and the Stanton Foundation, who are “well aware of what we’re looking to do.”
The Stanton Foundation funds $25,000 of design work and $250,000 for park construction work, he said. There is also a capital improvement plan once the park is complete.
However, by 2025, the grant program for projects like a dog park will be phased out by the Stanton Foundation, so he noted that “time was of the essence.”
“I’m really looking forward to this project,” said Santos. “Again, there will be plenty of opportunity for public input.”
Select Board member Judy Congdon asked if there was another option if Farina Field did not work out as a site. Santos answered that evaluating the potential sites like Sauta and Farina fields would be the first priority for the design firm. The firm will come to the Park Commission with schematic designs and costs estimates.
He did note that both sites have challenges regarding wetlands and “sensitive resources areas,” but were the only current options.
She believed it would be “a great addition to this town.”
The Select Board also approved with one abstention the contract for VHB in the amount of $50,000 for a Downtown parking study.
Member Shawn Sadowski asked if the South Street lot will be considered with the “willingness to redesign the parking layout” to have more than just all-day, two-hour and overnight parking.
Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory said the study would include the lot.
One contract of note was an approval for $924,946 for Mass Broken Stone Company for the milling and overlay of several roads in Hudson, including Tower Street.