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Updated: 04/19/2017 08:30:03AM

Dog park plan gets new momentum

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SEBRING — Dog lovers can still hope to eventually be able to take their canines to a downtown Sebring park where they can run around without a leash.

The Sebring Community Redevelopment Agency board has “approved the initial professional services,” that Polston Engineering submitted, CRA Executive Director Robin Hinote said Tuesday

Polston proposed to do engineering plans for the park for $6,200, including $700 for surveying, $750 for landscape and irrigation design, $4,000 for engineering design and $750 for drawings and certification.

Whether the CRA will fund construction of the actual dog park depends “on cost estimates and the CRA budget,” Hinote said in an email.

The CRA is looking at building the dog park on city-owned property at 320 and 345 Spruce Street.

Madge Stewart, a former member of the CRA board, proposed the idea last June. She suggested one lot could be used for parking and the other for the park.

Stewart said dog owners will be able to bring their pets to the park and exercise them. The park would also be a place where dog owners can socialize, which would be especially good for seniors living alone.

As part of the plan, Stewart applied for a $25,000 grant from PetSafe. However, she said on Tuesday, that PetSafe chose to fund other projects. She said, though, that the CRA should reapply for the grant as PetSafe offers a certain number each year.

Stewart said the park needs fencing to divide areas for big and large dogs, a privacy fence to separate the park and nearby neighbors, water supply areas for the dogs, dog waste stations and benches for people to sit while their dogs exercise.

Stewart said she is “very happy” the dog park idea is moving forward and is willing to help if needed.

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