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Westborough approves funds for dog park

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Westborough approves funds for dog park
The dog park would be close to the main entry at Lyman Street. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – The Recreation Department has placed the splash pad on the shelf for now and is proceeding with plans for a dog park at the state hospital grounds.

During the Select Board meeting on May 23Director Jenn Kirkland asked the board to allow a re-allocation of $175,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the splash pad to the dog park.

Kirkland said that $275,000 in ARPA money was slated for the splash pad, which would have been installed at Bay State Commons. However, the costs came in higher than planned, and there is a zoning issue that needs to be addressed.

According to Kirkland, there are 2,200 dogs registered in town. A dog park would help alleviate the problem of off-leash dogs running around in other public spaces. It would also give those with limited yard space an opportunity to exercise their dogs.

In addition to the ARPA money, the dog park will be funded through the Stanton Foundation. The ARPA funds would go toward 10% of the hard construction costs.

The dog park would be close to the main entry at Lyman Street, away from the playing fields. It would be under the supervision of the Recreation Department. The department will work with the animal control officer to come up with policies and procedures once the dog park opens.

In response to the problem of dog poop along Lake Chauncy and other areas, Kirkland said there will be signs and bag dispensers installed.

The board approved the request, and it authorized the building of the dog park.

According to a timeline provided by Kirkland, requests for proposals for architects will go out in June; during the summer an architect will be selected to design the mark and prepare construction bid documents.

During the fall, the Stanton Foundation will review the project. Should it be approved, RFPs will be sent out for dog park construction. In late fall, the bids will be opened and sent to the foundation, and a memorandum of understanding drawn up.

Should everything go according to plan, construction of the dog park would start in early 2024, with opening slated for that September.

The remaining funds from the splash park will be used for another project.

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Select Board awards ARPA funds for splash pad in Westborough

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