Columbia applies for dog park grant

Pictured is the proposed area for a dog park at Admiral Trost Park in Columbia. The city is applying for a grant to partially fund the proposed dog park.

The dog days of summer are over in most parts of the country, but they were given a fresh start in Columbia on Monday night. 

During the Columbia City Council meeting, aldermen approved a resolution in support of applying for a $50,000 “park package” grant contest in an effort to bring a dog park to the city.

The proposed site is in the southernmost area of Admiral Trost Park off Parkway Drive.

The submitted plan designates just under 475,000 square feet to the project and would include a fence perimeter of 3,256 feet.

In 2020, a plan for a “Mutts on Metter” dog park  was introduced, but did not move forward even though a high level of community interest in a dog park still exists, according to the agenda report.

Ward II Alderman Lauren Nobbe recently identified the grant program, and after reviewing possible site locations, it was determined Admiral Trost Park was the most suitable location. 

“We have a lot of work to do in that park area that was promised to the developers,” Columbia Mayor Bob Hill said. “This will be one step to fulfilling that obligation and promise.”

During development of the park’s master plan, a dog park had been contemplated. At the time, it was believed the Columbia Blue Jays youth football program would eventually use a large area of Admiral Trost Park for practices and games. 

Since then, the Blue Jays have indicated they plan on staying at Bolm-Schuhkraft City Park.   

If Columbia is selected after submitting the grant application, Nobbe said it will need community support as the winners will be determined by a Facebook-based voting system.

The deadline for application is Oct. 15, with finalists announced Nov. 1.

If we win this contest, we’ll still have a lot to do,” Nobbe said, adding, “Hopefully I’ll have good news for you guys next month.”

Also at the meeting, Columbia City Engineer Chris Smith updated the council on a proposed detour next year at Valmeyer Road.

Originally, a Monroe County project which will repair a bridge on Bluff Road over Carr Creek was planned to shut down Bluff Road for four to six months.

Smith said the state has requested a widening of the bridge to accommodate bicycle traffic, which will significantly increase the time needed to complete the project, but also allow for a “staged” construction.

Smith has been in conversation with Monroe County Engineer Aaron Metzger, who said this new design will allow one lane of the bridge to remain open during the project, eliminating the need for a detour through Valmeyer Road during construction.

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Scott Woodsmall

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