Millsboro mulling shift in dog park plans to downtown location

Millsboro officials are considering a new location in plans for a dog park, on town-owned property near the Millsboro Town Center. Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe

MILLSBORO — Location in the town of Millsboro’s plans for a community dog park facility may be on the move, from rural to an urban site within walking distance of the town’s municipal hub.

Millsboro Assistant Town Manager Jamie Burk updated council at its Oct. 6 meeting on a new pitch to shift dog park plans from the town-owned White Farm property off Hardscrabble Road (SR 20) on the town’s northern edge to a centralized site off Wilson Highway.

The in-town, town-owned property totals 3.25 acres. It is located behind the Brandywine Village Apartments.

The in-town site would bring it “into the downtown area. We’d have to put much more infrastructure in out there (White Farm property),” said Mr. Burk. “This location will allow us to expedite the project.”

The dog park proposal is expected to be on the November agenda for council’s consideration. At present, Mr. Burk said all that the town has is a quote from the fencing company that has experience in fencing for dog parks.

“The location has tentatively been changed but council still needs to decide on that final location,” said Mr. Burk. “We’re just proceeding with a location downtown and council is going to determine if they want to keep that location.”

Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson addressed Mayor Michelle Truitt on the in-town site.

“And Mayor, it also ties in with your goal of downtown revitalization, because really you could consider that part of the downtown,” said Mr. Hudson.

Council allocated $100,000 as a line item in the current fiscal year budget for a dog park. That funding could include design and build.

Initial plans for the dog park were tentatively included in the town’s plans for a multi-purpose park on about 11 acres along SR 24 near Godwin School Road. Potential amenities for 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 for the dog park subsequently shifted to a portion of a 166-acre deeded parcel known locally as the White Farm property, with separate, designated areas for large and small dogs.

Mr. Burk informed council that the SR 20 site raised concerns from “our consultants about using area that’s for the irrigation for the dog park when we are currently looking for more irrigation for the beneficial reuse of water.”

The in-town location is catty-corner from the Millsboro Town Center.

“It just looks like a better location and a faster turnaround,” said Mr. Burk. “It will give us room to grow on the 3.25 acres if we wanted to add parking or other elements.”

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