NEW PORT RICHEY — Meadows Dog Park, located near the southern reaches of New Port Richey’s city limits, is in need of a little TLC and the City Council last week made moves to get renovation work started.
The council voted 5-0 to enter into an agreement with St. Petersburg-based Wannemacher Jensen Architects Inc. to receive architectural and engineering design services related to the park improvements. The $49,000 agreement requires the firm to provide master planning work, produce architectural construction documents, aid with permitting and bidding, provide surveying services, conduct geotechnical engineering studies and prepare site plans and landscaping plans.
The agreement approved Sept. 1 does not include construction administration activities that the city’s Public Works Department will be handling, according to City Manager Debbie Manns.
“The staff feels very strongly that our construction management division of the Public Works Department is perfectly qualified to tend to construction management on this project,” Manns said during the meeting Aug. 25, adding that Wannemacher Jensen has a positive reputation with the city after collaborating on other projects at Sims Park and the Recreation and Aquatics Center.
Renovations at the park, a project budgeted at $500,000, include removing and replacing the existing playground, replacing the existing fence around the playground and dog park, installing new sod in the dog park area, upgrading the parking lot and making signage improvements.
“It’s not a pretty sight right now,” Councilman Chopper Davis said about the current state of Meadows Dog Park, located just to the south of the James E. Grey Preserve off Cecelia Drive.
“This is needed there badly,” said Councilman Peter Altman. He added that he’s noticed an increase of people with pet dogs in the city as new residential complexes have opened downtown, meaning there’s an even greater need for quality, pet-friendly locations within city limits.
Currently, Meadows Dog Park is the city’s lone location where owners can take their canine pets off the leash. Dogs are permitted at Cotee River Park, Orange Lake and Sims Park, but they must be leashed at all times.