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Costs dogging plan to advance dog park quicker
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The decision on whether to shell out $134,000 required to add a dog park at Woodward Park is still up in the air.

Thursday the Manteca Parks and Recreation Commission held a special meeting at the Senior Center to take public input about the possibility of adding an area to Woodward Park at the corner of Bridewell Avenue and Woodward Avenue that will cater exclusively to canines.

With the city facing a budget deficit thanks to the current economic situation, the recommendation forwarded to the City Council by the commission will likely end up being a matter of dollars and cents – something that doesn’t fare well for the project that Parks and Rec Director Steve Houx thinks will cost the city an extra $15,000 a year to maintain.

“It’s going to be a tight year,” Houx said in response to a question about whether the project could end up being funded in the next budget cycle. “But any project that has citizen participation – where citizens help bring donations to the city – certainly enhances its value.”

Unlike other parks which only require routine maintenance and minimal cleanup, the dog park would likely be a daily stop for city maintenance workers who will have to empty the bins full of discarded animal waste to help prevent odor from becoming a problem for neighboring residents.

Several single-family homes face what is currently slated to be the small dog area of the park.

Construction plans currently call for the installation of a vinyl covered five-foot tall chain link fence to enclose the area that runs from the existing park basin fence up the outside of the paved walking path that comes around the corner.

Adding two watering stations as well as a gate designed to prevent runaway dogs from breaking out into the neighborhood are also called for in the existing plans developed in-house – something that some residents asked to see amended so that a stripped down model offering only the bare essentials could be suggested to the city if they don’t like the idea of paying the full $134,000 price.

The final decision about what the recommendation to the city council – which is due next month – will include is expected to come on Thursday, April 2, when the commission meets at City Hall for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.