By Whitney Vickers
FAIRBORN — Local canine lovers can rejoice — a dog park is among the planned projects next year for the City of Fairborn.
Talks of adding such an amenity have been circulating since as assessment was completed in 2013, which reviewed the community’s recreational needs. According to Parks and Recreation Superintendent Alicia Eckhart, 2017 was the earliest community members could welcome the dog park.
And if community members are hoping to be involved in the project, now is the time to act. The department is seeking up to five individuals to create a committee for this project, who would help collaborate community involvement and assist in making future decision. The committee will begin meeting in mid-October.
“The committee will assist with final selection of the location – Sandhill [Park] is proposed at this time – fence type, amenities such as a water area, etc,” Eckhart said in an email to the Herald. “They also will be assisting us with gaining additional funding through partnerships, sponsors or naming rights, possibly … I strongly believe in community input, especially in a project such as this.”
Council approved $50,000 for this project during the Monday, Sept. 6 meeting. However, Eckhart said it could cost up to an additional $25,000 as she said park capital funds are acquired from non-Fairborn native community spending through hotel/motel revenue.
Upon breaking ground for the project, fencing the area would take up to two weeks. Additional amenities, which have yet to be decided, could take longer to construct. The dog park is still in need of a design. While Sandhill Park is currently targeted as the future site of the dog park, it could change at this point. However, if not, the current amenities at Sandhill Park would remain and the dog park would be constructed within the underdeveloped side of the area.
“I believe this project is a specialty type project – it’s not like building a softball diamond. It can be designed so many different ways,” Eckhart said. “It’s just going to be a great community-driven project and I’m just so glad we are going to be able to meet the expressed needs of our community members.”