New Albany News

Rocky Fork Metro Park

New Albany foots half the bill for dog park

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The Rocky Fork Metro Park under development in northern Plain Township could include a dog park, restrooms and a shelter house by fall, local officials say.

New Albany City Council agreed unanimously March 18 to give Metro Parks $125,000 to help "facilitate the construction of a dog park," which is expected to cost $250,000, council's legislative report states.

Mayor Nancy Ferguson said New Albany residents have requested the city build a dog park for many years. She said this is a nice solution and a great use of part of the land dedicated for the Rocky Fork Metro Park.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov said the money will come from the 2014 capital-improvements fund, which included money for a dog park.

He said Metro Parks has agreed to dedicate six acres for dogs: one acre for small dogs and the rest for large dogs.

Stefanov said the Metro Park is being developed in phases and the first phase, which includes the dog park, could be open by October.

John O'Meara, Metro Parks director, said the first phase of the design should be done by April and he hopes to have bids on the project confirmed in May.

Rocky Fork Metro Park is being developed on more than 1,000 acres north of Walnut Street between Schott and Bevelhymer roads.

The dog park will be northwest of Bevelhymer Road and Walnut Street. Preliminary plans, which Stefanov said are being finalized this spring, show an entrance to the Metro Park off Walnut Street at Upper Clarenton Drive.

Stefanov said Metro Parks has funding in the 2014 budget to add a park entrance on Walnut Street and a driveway back to the dog park. The drive also would access a shelter house, restrooms and a parking lot.

The site will have to be graded and utilities and drainage systems added. Stefanov said the total cost of the work is estimated to be $460,000.

Metro Park officials in December committed to open a portion of the Rocky Fork Metro Park in 2014.

Metro Parks has dedicated $2.5 million of its $5.3 million capital-improvements budget for 2014 to the Rocky Fork Metro Park and $1 million of its $4 million land-acquisition fund to acquire more land for the park.

In May 2013, Columbus, New Albany and Metro Parks committed another $250,000 each year for five years and Plain Township committed $50,000 each year for five years to help speed up the park's development.

Metro Parks is funded by revenue from parks facilities, grants and a 10-year, 0.75-mill levy approved by central Ohio voters in 2009.

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