Proposed Grove City dog park in hot water

The city of Grove City is considering constructing a dog park, but first there are some water issues to be addressed.

The park would be located west of Demorest Road and south of Marsol Avenue, near the horse stables at Beulah Park. Residents from the surrounding neighborhoods gathered at a meeting on July 31 to tell city officials about their water woes.

Several years ago, the city purchased the property to take care of the 100-year floodplain. Engineers dug a large retention pond, designed to drain water away from the area. Residents say the pond is not doing its job.

"The problems got worse when the city started working on the property," said Jason Pickell.

Grove City Service Director Darryl Hughes said the retention pond is supposed to handle events of heavy rain. Neighbors of the pond claim that yards flood in light rain events.

Mike Keller, with the EMH&T engineering firm explained that workers would need to install new drain tiles. The work has been on hold so the city could get rid of the mound of dirt, that was recently hauled away and purchased by Metro Parks. The dirt left would be used to grade the property.

Keller said the goal is to restore the site and the natural drainage. Plans also include seeding and mulching the site.

"The idea is that the water won’t sit," said Keller.

Hughes said the repairs should stop ponding on nearby property. The water in the yards would flow to the pond, then drain away. He also said engineers were looking into the possibility of expanding the pond to hold additional water.

Some residents were still skeptical of the planned work.

"If you can’t manage the water now, how will you manage it by adding more water without remaking the pond," asked Katherine Wexler.

Wexler suggested that city officials come to the area after a rain event to see the issues firsthand.

"We are spinning our wheels to tell you what we experience. Why not go to the site and see what we see," Wexler commented.

Hughes said early estimates of the project are roughly $150,000. Grove City Council would have to approve the funding. Keller said he expects work to start later this year.

Hughes stated that once the drain tile is installed and repairs are made, they will check to see if the water is draining as it should. If the issues persist, the city would revise its plan and modify.

Keller said they will make sure the work is compatible with the future use of the property.

Council President Ted Berry said the city would check on the property in the spring of 2009, to make sure water is flowing. After that, he said the city would review the property for development.

Though nothing is set in stone, the city proposed a dog park for the site. The pooch park would be approximately four acres. It would include a fenced in open area where dogs could run off-leash. There would also be a section for smaller dogs (20 pounds or under).

There are currently no dog parks in Southwest Franklin County. Dogs are not prohibited from any park in Grove City, but they are required to be on a leash.

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