Dog park project heads in new phase

Dog park project

heads in new phase

Ray Scherer

The notion of creating a dog park for Hermann has entered a new realm, as organizers seek to pin down a new location amid efforts to secure grant monies.

The hopes for placing a dog park on ground just outside Hermann City Hall have bitten the dust. That word was confirmed at Monday night's Hermann Park Board meeting.

"That pretty much died," said Alderman David Faerber, who serves as a liaison from the Board of Aldermen to the Park Board. "It did not set well with public opinion. The citizens own that property."

Nevertheless, one of the dog park's organizers, Park Board member Gary Leabman, said he continues to research potential sites in the city to host a dog park. He told board colleagues that he determined there are no available locations at the city's Industrial Park for a dog park.

Leabman did report that he is working on the possibility of securing up to two acres of private property that could serve as a dog park location. That amount of space would work to contain a dog park, he said.

Faerber cautioned the board to be prudent in considering the option of soliciting private property for the facility, and reminded members that the park must be maintained -- and with those ongoing costs factored into the operation.

"You've got to be real careful," he said. Faerber advised against any further fundraising for the dog park until a location is settled. "Right now, there is no goal line."

According to Leabman, an application is being prepared for a grant through T-Mobile that could carry some of the costs of a dog park. He intends to submit a request for the grant next week -- after he makes a report to the BOA on Monday night -- and is including several other potential civic projects in the "wish list" computations. Two of those possibilities are a circular bench for the City of Hermann Caboose Museum and an additional figurine for the Dino Park located near Ninth and Mozart streets.

"They are looking for input from the community," said Leabman of the T-Mobile grant stipulations.

Local endeavors to create a Hermann dog park have included the raising of private donations and several fundraisers. Leabman said that portion of the program to date has amassed $7,800.

"I'd like to continue raising the money," he told the park board, adding that he is also researching an infrastructure grant application that could help with such needs as improvements with city league baseball equipment.

The park board voted to recommend to the BOA that Leabman submit the T-Mobile grant application on behalf of Hermann.

An earlier plan for locating a dog park at the site of the former medical clinic on Sixth Street fell through, after it was determined the space could not satisfy federal floodplain regulations.