Millsboro seeks construction cost estimates for park proposals

A dog park along Hardscrabble Road near U.S. 113 on Millsboro’s northern limits is one of two public parks proposed by Millsboro
Town Council. (Submitted)

MILLSBORO — Millsboro town council has set the cost estimate course for two public parks on town-owned properties on Millsboro’s outer limits.

At its March 4 meeting, council approved the go-ahead to secure construction cost estimates for a dog park along Hardscrabble Road near U.S. 113 on Millsboro’s northern limits, and a multi-purpose park along Del. 24 (Millsboro Highway) near the western edge of town.

Cost estimates will be reflected in the town’s fiscal year 2020 budget, which will be finalized this summer, said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson.

“We’re doing our homework, getting those numbers so we are ready for budget time,” said Mr. Hudson.

Plans for the dog park to be located on a portion of a 166-acre deeded parcel known locally as the White Farm property include separate areas for large and small dogs.

The multi-purpose park is proposed on about 11 acres along Del. 24 near Godwin School Road. It will encompass an amphitheater/plaza-type bandstand feature, multimodal/walking paths, a spray park/water feature and two Blue Star Garden area.

The town last year contracted Matthew Spong of Dover-based Landscape Architectural Services LLC to develop conceptual plans for a multi-purpose park. Plans expanded to a two-park project when council in January decided the White Farm property would be better suited for a dog park.

The two park sites will cover the top-5 suggestions submitted in a survey conducted by the town last April.

“I think it’s important when you do a survey, to try to be as responsive to the input that you get as possible. You never want people to get survey burnout and feel like they are not being listened to,” said Mr. Hudson. “I commend council for doing that.”

A multi-purpose park is proposed on about 11 acres along Del. 24 near Godwin School
Road. It will encompass an amphitheater/plaza-type bandstand feature, multimodal/
walking paths, a spray park/water feature and two Blue Star Garden area. (Submitted)

Conceptual plans for multi-purpose park also incorporate playgrounds, a play lawn, picnic grove and pavilion, a reforested area, restrooms, a maintenance/staging area and parking areas totaling 45 spaces.

The dog park proposal includes a pet waste station, shelter bench, drinking fountain for both pets and owners and 28 parking spaces.

“The nice thing is there are some additional elements beyond the five there,” said Mr. Hudson.

If all goes well, actual construction could begin next fiscal year.

“My best guess would be is it will be a budget item for next fiscal year,” said Mr. Hudson. “Hopefully next fiscal year we can start with the construction, at some point.”

Easter Egg Hunt in limbo

At present, there are no plans for a community-wide Easter Egg Hunt event, as had been sponsored previously by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce and staged at Cupola Park.

Last year, the Millsboro Chamber announced it was stepping back from its primary role in staging the Easter Egg Hunt and the Christmas Parade, in efforts to focus more on serving its members and business community.

At that time, Millsboro Chamber spokesman Kevin Turner said the chamber does not want the public/community’s perception to be “that we’re giving up on them. Because that’s not it. We’ve got a business membership who need more focus on, and it’s just going to take some time. Our chamber’s purpose is the advancement of civic and commercial interests of our community’s economic well-being.”

The town of Millsboro is in a waiting pattern.

Mr. Hudson said the town has been getting calls “at town hall, asking if we are doing it. What we’ve told them so far is we think council is disinclined to take that on.”

“Interestingly, I think we might have someone, a nonprofit or private sector person might be interested in sponsoring that, and actually renting out the park,” said Mr. Hudson. “My recommendation would be, ‘Let’s see if someone picks that up.’”

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