Town dog park lands fencing approval in Millsboro

MILLSBORO — Furry friends and their owners may have a designated place in the heart of Millsboro to exercise in a friendly, contained environment.

Town-owned property in a residential area of town is council’s pick for a fenced-in dog park that will initially be basic with flexibility to grow.

Town council, at its Nov. 4 meeting, approved a request for fencing for the dog park to be located off Wilson Highway near Brandywine Village Apartments.

The park will utilize about half of the estimated 3.5-acre parcel that houses the town’s public works pump station. It is within walking distance from the Millsboro Town Center and many parts of town.

“I think it is a good start. Everybody is agreeable with the location,” said Millsboro Assistant Town Manager Jamie Burk. “People from downtown can walk there. There is parking at town hall, for right now.

“That complex (Brandywine Village Apartments) has gone through a huge rehab so I think it is going to be an improvement to neighborhood.”

The original estimate for fencing was $9,000, which would likely increase as council is leaning toward separate sections for small and large dogs, Mr. Burk said.

The town’s current fiscal year budget includes $100,000 earmarked for a dog park.

“I am so glad that is finally getting some traction,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson.

The location won out over the town’s plans for a dog park along the more remote, rural White Farm property off Hardscrabble Road on the northern edges of town. That proposal proved to be quite expensive, with costs for water and sewer as well as entrance permits that alone would have been around $45,000.

Initially, a dog park was considered for a venue on 10-plus acres on the western edge of town off Del. 24. Plans subsequently switched to the White Farm property prior to the more urban site.

The site has access to utilities. “Water won’t be an issue,” said Millsboro Public Works Director Ken Niblett.

Mr. Burk said fencing conceivably could be completed quickly, possibly by the end of the year or early 2020.

Town councilman James Kells inquired about an outside committee to work with this project. Council had previously addressed other dog parks, including the Lewes Unleashed association, a nonprofit that has an annual membership.

“We welcome the ideas. I think we are going to try to keep this low maintenance out of the gate as possible,” Mr. Burk said. “We’re happy to entertain a committee.”

“My thought would be to streamline things, get the fence up and get the basics in place before we outsource anything,” said Mr. Hudson. “But that is from an administrative perspective. Sometimes committees can slow things down.”

Mr. Hudson said the park could someday help showcase and promote the area’s historic culture, incorporating the Nanticoke Tribe on some interpretive elements “so it could grow into something more long term.”

Seaford: Dog park study

Meanwhile, in Seaford a feasibility study committee will explore the opportunity to create a dog park. A secondary committee, Friends of the Seaford Dog Park, will provide assistance.

The study will determine interest, need and other aspects associated with dog parks.

The dog park idea was presented by city councilman James King during the Sept. 25 meeting of the Seaford Parks and Recreation Committee.

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