“I have many residents who have been waiting for this a long time,” Councilwoman Mary Clulee said as the St. Charles Parish Council approved design work for the parish’s first and long-awaited dog park.
The project passed with one opposing vote by Councilman Paul Hogan.
The estimated $400,000 project will go on a 2.6-acre site near the parish’s Animal Shelter at 921 Rue la Cannes Drive in Luling.
Parks and Recreation Director Duane Foret told the council the project would be done in phases.
“We do have enough in the budget to get the project started,” Foret said.
Civil & Environmental Consulting Engineers of Luling will design the park. The contract was awarded at Monday’s council meeting.
The council also signed off on a $541,276 project to extend Rue la Cannes Drive, also awarded to the same engineering firm. Plans call for a 1,270-foot extension of the road.
Park plans call for a main paved area, decorative brick pavers, sidewalk, benches, pavilion, splash area, chain link fence, landscaping and water fountains for humans and dogs.
Hahnville resident Milton Allemand called the park a “want” rather than a “need” with funding better spent on levees. Estimating the project’s price tag at $430,000, Allemand asked the council to reconsider the move.
“We’re going to spend a half-million dollars on a dog park?” he told the council. Allemand further questioned the amenities, location and particularly the cost, maintaining it could be done for half the price. “Let’s do right by our people. This is crazy.”
But Clulee said she was voting for it. Both she and Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto said constituents have asked for this project for several years.
Foret added the park site is a good one being near the Animal Shelter.
Last year, Animal Shelter Supervisor Jena Troxler said the location would be ideal being adjacent the shelter, which would allow having an employee there daily to assist with animal behavior and ensure it runs smoothly.
Troxler said, she along with parish officials, toured other parks to identify park features.
She called the project “a great resource for our community” and added it would be heavily trafficked with it being the parish’s first dog park. Animals are not allowed in the bridge parks, so many dog owners walk them on the levee.
The Animal Shelter has been holding “Paw-ties” at $50 each to help fund the park. The St. Charles Parish Humane Society has been accepting donations for it.
Getting the “Paw-ty” on for the park
- Larry Cochran promised the dog park when he ran for parish president.
- This dog park would be the first for St. Charles Parish.
- Last year, the council allocated initial funding for the park in the budget. “Paw-ties” have been used to help fund the project. Families paid $50 to have their children’s parties at the Animal Shelter.
- The parish’s lobbyist, Tauzin Consultants, has been seeking external funding for the park.