Dog park on the horizon for Berthoud
By Rudy Hemmann
According to Town Administrator Chris Kirk and Jeremy Olinger, director of Parks and Recreation, town staff has identified a parcel, which is approximately one acre in size, that would be ideal for use as a dog park. The issue standing in the way of immediately making the site ready for such use is the property in question is currently owned by the Thompson School District (TSD). Location of the proposed dog park property begins immediately east of 10th Street and proceeds eastward for approximately 400 feet, sandwiched between Nielson Greenway and a drainage ditch.
Prior to making any improvements to the property the town would need to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the school district. The TSD Board of Education is aware an IGA concerning the issue will be brought before them for their scrutiny.
Negotiations with TSD have gone well to this point and the school district may be willing to sign an agreement allowing the town to use the property free of charge for the time being, since they have no use for the parcel for the foreseeable future.
Mike Hausmann, public information officer for TSD, stated in an email, “We are currently in negotiation with the Town of Berthoud regarding the dog-park project. Once a tentative agreement has been reached, TSD’s Board of Education will review the document and consider approval.”
Olinger stated the projected park would be “nice,” but the town would “not be putting a whole lot of physical improvements into the property,” since TSD will retain ownership. He went on to say the perimeter of the park would be fenced. It is contemplated there will be a two-rail fence to support welded wire mesh, with double gates at the entrance so dogs can’t escape. Fencing at the entrance will be chain link. There will be two separate areas, one for larger dogs and another for smaller dogs. Water and some shade will be furnished to fill water bowls. Olinger noted the ground is currently covered with native grasses and some weeds, but the ground inside the enclosure would be covered with mulch when the project is completed.
Olinger stated he is ready to begin building the park just as soon as the school board gives its approval. If the board approves the IGA at their next meeting, work on the park would begin immediately thereafter and the project could be completed by the end of September. Kirk stated the town has received tacit approval from the school district staff for survey work and other preliminary work at the site.
Other projects discussed during the interview:
The Berthoud Reservoir project – there were contract issues the contractor’s attorney was working out with the town attorney. Those are being resolved, and construction work will begin soon. Kirk stated the reservoir will be open during the spring of 2020.
The 7-11 slated for Berthoud Commons will have gas available. The necessary pits for underground gas storage are now being dug. Olinger stated the contractor is on pace for the facility to be open during the spring of 2020.
Olinger stated pickle ball has become very popular in town, especially among senior citizens. As a result, Parks and Recreation staff decided to convert the tennis court at town park to four permanent pickle ball courts. The new pickle ball courts should be ready for play by Monday, Aug. 26.
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