News and Tribune

October 29, 2013

New Albany moves forward with dog park design

Three locations being considered for facility

By DANIEL SUDDEATH
daniel.suddeath@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — New Albany is a step closer to opening its first dog park.

The New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday accepted a contract with the local firm Michell Timperman Ritz for the design of a dog park.

“The location has not been determined to date,” said David Duggins, director of economic development and community development for the city.

“The consultants will help determine the best location or locations.”

A committee of Floyd County residents has met several times over the past year to discuss opening a dog park, and the New Albany City Council appropriated within the Economic Development Income Tax budget up to $150,000 for the design and construction of such a facility.

“We’re really excited. It’s an opportunity that I didn’t think our little community would have,” said David Hall, director of the New Albany-Floyd County Animal Shelter.

He said three locations are being considered for the park, but Hall declined to specify those properties citing ongoing discussions over the project.

There had been some talk about establishing a dog park near the former Camille Wright pool site. But with an aquatic center and firehouse to be constructed there, Hall said there won’t be enough room for a dog park.

He did confirm the three sites being considered aren’t located directly downtown, but Hall added he doesn’t think that will be a big issue.

Shelter employees have talked with Louisville residents and have found that many will drive a modest distance to take their canines to one of the city’s dog parks, Hall said.

Hopefully there will be a meeting soon between the design firm and the citizen’s group that has been meeting to discuss the makeup of the park, he added.

Hall said he’s had some discussions with the Arts Council of Southern Indiana about placing artwork in the park, and added officials want the project to encompass the community.

“This is going to be the people’s dog park,” Hall said.