A chlorinated pool for canines in League City’s first dog dark is in the works, if the price is right.
The city staff is working on specifications for a formal request for proposals for a pool at the dog park now under construction at Lynn Gripon Park at Countryside, 100 Alderwood St. The city council approved a dog park there in February on 3 acres that is the former site of a water treatment facility.
Staff updated council members July 10 about the work at the dog park and asked for direction in moving forward with a pool.
City officials in June asked 10 companies for estimates on how much it would cost to build a 30-foot by 45-foot chlorine pool that would be 3 feet deep.
Only three companies responded, and their estimates ranged from about $50,000 to $250,000, city staff said. All were higher than the staff’s early estimate of a $40,000 pond. These weren’t official proposals, just rough estimates for research.
The city’s capital improvement project list includes a dog park for 2017, and the council approved spending $150,000 for the park in the 2017 budget.
The city has spent 84 percent of that, leaving about $24,000, and is now looking at how much building a pool for the dogs would cost.
Staff’s early estimate was that a dog pond for large dogs would cost $40,000. One way to pay for the extra expense of the pond on top of the $150,000 would be to save money on purchases and labor, then put those savings toward building a dog pond, Parks Director Chien Wei said.
And Wei has done that, coming up with $24,603.45 in savings. But if the city wants a chlorinated pool for dogs, it needs to at least double that amount.
The parks department already cut the cost from an estimated $173,000 to $150,000 to fit this year’s budget allocation for the project. The revised figure was $23,000 less because public works employees, rather than a contractor, could remove an old fence and clear scrub brush, Wei said.
Funding the pool for the dog park could be part of the city’s fiscal 2017-2018 budget, Councilman Nick Long said.
The transition of the idea of dog pond changing to a chlorinated pool began with concerns about cleaning and maintaining the pool. Park staff, city officials and League City Dog Park Association members went on field trips to other cities to look at concrete lined ponds, natural pools and also at chlorinated pools specifically built for dogs.
The simple hole lined with concrete required maintenance and could have been a mess, city officials said.
“We don’t want to build a mud hole out there,” City Councilman Greg Gripon said.
Another option city officials considered was a bio-filter system for an “eco pond.” That would need maintenance and had other disadvantages, Gripon said.
The best option seems to be a chlorinated pool because it would be easy to maintain, it would last longer and it would look nice, Gripon said.
The plan for the dog park includes an area for large dogs and another area for small dogs. The proposed pool would be in the area for large dogs.
A dog park is where people are allowed to bring their dogs and let them play with other dogs in a fenced-in area. Amenities can include obstacle courses and watering stations. Like other parks, dog parks are maintained on a regular schedule.
The League City Dog Park Association worked to raise awareness and is now raising money for amenities such as an obstacle course, President Sandra Kelly said. Council approved Kelly’s appointment to the city park board in June.
The park already has 80 to 100 parking spaces, which should accommodate the dog park, Wei said. Dog park visitors would need only 10 to 20 of those spaces, he said.
Wei and his staff also are working on a parks master plan that could include more dog parks in the city.
Another site under consideration was at Newport Park, but some residents in the neighboring homeowners association have opposed it.
League City pet owners might have another option. Galveston County is considering putting a dog park at Elva Lobit Park, 1901 FM 646 Road W., in Dickinson.