The Oakmont Village Association approved spending $189,513 for the construction of a dog park on the west side of Stone Bridge Drive on the outskirts of Trione-Annadel State Park at its Dec. 18 meeting.
The 6-1 vote signals a victory for the Dog Park Committee, which overcame a number of setbacks as it sought to find a suitable site at what the Board considered a reasonable price. Director Marianne Neufeld voted against the proposal after asking, “Is this something we have to do right now?”
The site, just under an acre, is adjacent to the shuttered water treatment plant and at the end of the Volunteer Trail, which starts on Stone Bridge Drive and runs past the Oakmont Community Garden.
A 10 per cent project contingency of $17,876 was doubled when director Al Medeiros noted that city permit fees of about $22,000 would have to be spent before work could begin. The increased contingency would pretty much guarantee sufficient funding for the project. Asked about the cost, treasurer Elke Strunka said the funds would come out of the Capital Improvement Fund and that she was “comfortable” with the project. A donation of $25,000 from the Trione sons is helping to pay for the park.
Dick Ayers, co-chair of the Dog Park Committee, said the park will include a “bare minimum” of amenities, including two umbrellas, two metal benches, water bowls, waste receptacles, trash can liners and waste pickup bags. The costs includes $55,000 for ADA compliance work, $43,460 to clear and grade the site and $30,000 for fencing. The park will require key card entry to assure that only Oakmont residents will use it.
The board voted unanimously to change the 15 per cent rock rule, limiting how much of a yard an be covered in rock, to include front yards only, eliminating side and back yards from the rules, and exempting five feet from a home’s perimeter to allow for defensible space.
Pesident Steve Spanier, in his report, said, “I don’t think I’ve anticipated a new year more eagerly than 2019. The first quarter will see the completion of the East Rec renovation project (now set for the end of February). We’ll get two things out of this project. First, we’ll get a modernized, ADA-compliant facility with greater capacity and capabilities. Second, we’ll get a raft of data that will feed a post project report analyzing what went right, what went wrong and how we can do better in the future.”
He said a new program will begin training board members in the oversight of major OVA projects. This oversight will involve identifying and assessing the opportunity presented by the project, generating alternatives and selecting the preferred alternative, developing detailed specifications, executing the alternative consistent with the specifications and closing the project and doing a “project look-back”.
Spanier said OVA will also create a comprehensive safety plan for all of Oakmont. This effort will start with a workshop, set for 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 at Berger, at which several organizations working on Oakmont safety will update current projects, plans for new work and Oakmont’s state of readiness. The organizations are the Oakmont Emergency Preparedness Committee, the Fire Safety Committee and Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies. Board members and residents will be able to ask questions and comment.
“We anticipate the end result of this project,” Spanier said, “will at least include a handbook of useful information covering such topics as how to get information about natural disasters, escape plan, pre-disaster mitigation strategies and more. We can no longer avoid confronting safety issues that should have been confronted years ago. 2019 will see us catch up on the safety front.”