Lease signed for Escanaba dog park

ESCANABA — The new Escanaba dog park at the Delta County Airport, which has been in the works for over three years, is making headway. The Escanaba City Council approved a lease agreement with the airport during its regular meeting Thursday. The lease agreement is for 30 years with an annual fee of $1.

“The Recreation Advisory Board has discussed the potential dog park, I would say three plus years — it is in the five year rec. plan. We have looked at various sites within the city, we’ve looked at other dog parks outside the area to see what works, what doesn’t work,” said Escanaba Parks and Recreation Director Kim Peterson about the work put into the project.

She explained there have been public hearings where the board received a lot of public input.

“In taking all of those ideas together, we came up with some rules,” she said.

The property on the Delta County Airport was chosen for the dog park because of the airport’s ability to offer a 30-year lease for an annual fee of $1.

Currently, $17,000 in funding has been secured for the dog park project.

“We had the money donated,” Peterson said. A $5,000 Prosperous Places grant and $12,000 from a private citizen will fund the park.

The dog park will have two areas designated based on the size of dogs — one for small dogs and one for large dogs.

“It will be double-gated, we’ll have signs up,” Peterson said.

The plan for the park is to have just a basic fence at first. Peterson explained once the park is established and public use can be gauged, there may be changes and additions.

“Ideas are endless,” she said.

Peterson noted installation of fencing for the dog park will be supervised by a local contractor at no cost.

“Delta Fence (& Construction) has agreed to volunteer their time and help us put the fence in,” she said. “And we have about 60 plus volunteers on a list that we’ll be calling … to come and help us.”

Before the counsel approved the lease, Council member Ralph Blasier praised Peterson on the work she had put into the project.

“There were a lot of people who pushed this, but she was the one that kept on, … got the money and got the volunteer time, (and) established a list of volunteers. So all I can say is bravo,” he said.