HOLMES BEACH – A new large dog park is on the way, but construction isn’t scheduled to begin any time soon.
City Engineer Lynn Burnett gave commissioners an update during their Feb. 12 meeting on the status of the city field complex, including the dog park. She said improvements are scheduled for the park, including relocating the large dog park, but that improvements in the area are taking place in stages. The first stage, she said, was to relocate the tot park.
Public works employees began the task of dismantling the playground equipment and removing it from its previous Marina Drive facing location in January. Due to necessary improvements needed, the equipment is still at the public works facility awaiting installation at its new location near the pavilion at city field.
The second stage is already underway, to demolish the existing skate park and relocate the construction staging area from beside the existing dog park to the former skate park site near public works. Burnett said the demo on the old skate park is taking longer than expected because city workers are having to consult with Manatee County Utilities before the concrete pad can be demolished, due to the site having once been a house.
Timing with dog park renovations also is an issue, Burnett said. Though the existing park is planned to remain open during construction, she recommended not beginning construction on the new park until after the Island’s peak tourism season passes.
During public comment, dog park user and Holmes Beach resident Renee Ferguson asked commissioners to remove the two large umbrella shade structures placed in the north end of the large dog park in 2018. She said the umbrellas are not useful, people do not use them, and they’re taking up space that could be used to allow dogs to run freely. She also asked that construction on the new dog park be programmed to begin as quickly as possible.
“It’s booming in that park right now,” Ferguson said. “If we could get it moved quickly, I think it would benefit everyone.”
Burnett said she would come back before commissioners at their first meeting in March with a more detailed update on the dog park.