Back to basics for Millsboro’s dog park plans

MILLSBORO – Basically, it’s back to basics for the town of Millsboro’s dog park plans.

Discussion and possible plans for an upscale park on town-owned property off Hardscrabble Road have met a financial roadblock – infrastructure costs tied to a new entrance off SR 20 as required by the Delaware Department of Transportation.

“We are not able to meet that half million dollar price tag,” Millsboro Assistant town Manager Jamie Burk said at the August town council meeting. “So, we are trying to scale it down and get the project started.”
In all, $100,000 was allocated for the dog park in town’s current fiscal year budget that runs through June 2020.

A new entrance off SR 20 would be costly, Mr. Burk said.

“I’ve looked to kind of do a redesign internally … maybe looking at different entrances so we will be able to save a little bit of money on DelDOT entrance costs,” said Mr. Burk.

He noted the initial line item for that was about $45,000. “We’re going to try to find other ways,” Mr. Burk said.
Potential plans for the dog park to be located on a portion of a 166-acre deeded parcel known locally as the White Farm property are to include separate areas for large and small dogs.

As initially presented by Matthew Spong of Dover-based Landscape Architectural Services LLC, the dog park was to feature a pet waste station, shelter bench, drinking fountain for both pets and owners, upscale fencing and about 28 parking spaces.

“What we are looking to do now is strictly a basically chain link fence,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson. “The vision is something like what they have at the Smyrna Rest Area. They have a large dog area, a small dog area. But basically, just a fenced in area.”

Mr. Hudson added the hope is the town will be able use an existing road that goes back to the White Farm, “and maybe have a spur come off it, so we don’t have to get a separate entrance permit from DelDOT.”
“I think it will be good. People will still be able to let Fido run without breaking the bank,” Mr. Hudson said.

There is no timetable etched in stone. “It’s theoretically possible it could it could happen this year, or at least start this fiscal year. But we don’t have an exact timeline yet,” said Mr. Hudson said. “Again, it depends on how much easier or complicated the state makes it.”

Initially a dog park was included in the town’s plans for a multi-purpose park on about 11 acres along SR 24 near Godwin School Road. The multi-purpose park could feature an amphitheater/plaza-type bandstand feature, multimodal/walking paths, a spray park/water feature and two Blue Star Garden area.

Plans expanded to a two-park project this past January when council decided the White Farm property would be better suited for a dog park.

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