It might have taken a while, but the dogs are finally having their day in Delaware.

It might have taken a while, but the dogs are finally having their day in Delaware.

The city earlier this month opened its first park designed specifically for man's best friend on 5 acres off Mill Run Crossing behind the Glenwood Commons shopping center on Delaware's east side.

Delaware City Council allocated $75,000 for the dog park's development in 2013 after a group of residents began pushing for a city-maintained facility for dogs. Council also established a committee of residents to help plan the dog park and establish rules.

Lori Midkiff, the committee's first chairwoman, said she's pleased with the result of the collaboration between city officials and residents.

"It's an extremely beautiful park," she said. "I'm amazed at what we were able to do with the money we had."

Although the park ended up near the city's eastern limits, the committee initially had a more central location in mind.

The committee originally recommended the city construct the dog park within Blue Limestone Park, which sits between Central Avenue and William Street just west of the city's downtown. A majority of council members nixed the plan to make the major change.

Instead, council steered the committee to plan the facility at the city's Wetlands Park site southwest of Glenwood Commons. The committee already had considered the site, but determined it was too far east and could lead to development costs far exceeding $75,000.

Midkiff said she credits city staff -- particularly Parks Superintendent Stacy Davenport -- for creating a jewel of a park on a tight budget.

City spokesman Lee Yoakum said the site was finalized in late 2014. Workers planted grass seed in spring 2015 and finished concrete work at the site early this year.

Although Wetlands Park was not the committee's first choice, Midkiff said the finished product makes it difficult to imagine the dog park being located anywhere else.

"It's a very populated area, but it's back off the beaten path so it's not noisy," she said.

The park contains separate, fenced areas for smaller and larger dogs, as well as benches, water fountains and dog-waste stations.

Midkiff said more amenities may be added in the future, but it would likely be as a result of donations or fundraising by residents, not additional allocations by the city.

Yoakum said the city does not have a process established for tracking how many people are visiting the park. But Midkiff said it's been popular so far.

She said she's seen a dozen or more cars at the parking lot each time she's visited or driven by the park.