Parks and Rec Committee Considers Alternatives for Dog Park

The location for a proposed Berea dog park has changed, according to Berea City Councilman Tom Schultz. On Tuesday, Schultz said the decision was made during a December 28 meeting of the council’s Parks and Recreation Committee.

The originally proposed site for the park was located between the John Stephenson Trail and Berea Country Club on a decommissioned sewer plant. But after Harrison Road and Harrison Court residents voiced concerns about the park at a recent town hall meeting, committee members offered another solution.

“The committee has agreed to pursue a new site above the BMU building, near where the solar farm is located,” Schultz said. “This location still offers trail access, and is large enough to provide for the original plans for the park. The new site also takes the concerns of Harrison Road residents into account.”

Initial sketches for the dog park include plans for two separated areas (to segregate big and small dogs), playground equipment, restrooms, an athletic field, and a pavilion. The final cost of the project is yet to be determined. According to Schultz, the committee plans to present two options for the new dog park at a town hall meeting next month.

In other business, Schultz said the committee is considering options to allow local businesses to sponsor advertising near Indian Fort Theatre and the Pinnacles. Schultz said the use of signage that includes Quick Response or QR barcodes at the site would allow visitors and hikers to visit websites sponsored by local businesses. Ideally, visitors could then use the QR codes to obtain discount coupons with their cell phones, then spend money in local restaurants, hotels and shops. That idea will be explored further when committee members consult with Berea Tourism and Peter Hackbert from Berea College, Schultz said.

On the issue of the Swing for a Cure charity softball tournament, Schultz reported the committee heard from organizer Tom Howser. After a meeting this month, Howser said he will be reporting back to the Parks and Recreation Committee to let them know what they can expect from the July event.

Concerning progress on Duerson Field at Berea Community School, Schultz reported the city finalized a 10-year agreement in which Berea Independent School District will pay the city $6,000 annually to cover the cost of the stadium press box. The city will pay for the new bleachers. Work on the stadium will begin in the spring, and plans are to have the new facility in place in time for the annual July 4th celebration.

The next meeting of the Parks and Recreation Committee is January 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the Berea Municipal Utilities building on Harrison Road.

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