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Dog park funds may come from set aside for water play park
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Dog lovers who want a Manteca facility where their four-legged friends can run free may want to thank stringent rules put in place for new water play features.

Municipal staff is recommending that the City Council take $102,000 from the $511,000 set aside for a water play feature at Woodward Park to pay for the construction of the dog park on the southwest corner of Bridewell and Woodward avenues. The $511,000 is from park facility fees collected on new development that is restricted to park improvements.

The city has been trying to work with the county to devise a way to make the water play facility – that would have water cannons, buckets, run-through sprayers and more – financially feasible to do and still comply to tougher health department rules regarding the water used in play features. The project has been stalled for close to 18 months due to the stringent standards.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The dog park is expected to have an annual maintenance cost of $15,800 once it is completed. If use is heavy and sod replacement is needed on an annual basis the cost could go as high as $18,000 annually.

The council in May directed staff to add a $1 to the fee charged to license dogs in Manteca. With 3,780 dog licenses, that would raise $3,780 toward the annual maintenance tab for the dog park.

Roughly two out of every five dogs in Manteca are licensed.

Elected leaders are also hoping that dog owners who have said they will help raise funds to help with the annual maintenance will deliver as well. A 2007 survey conducted by the California Parks and Recreation Society noted six out of every eight cities with dog parks had a dog owners group that raise money and help support maintenance of municipal dog parks.

The plan as adopted by the parks and recreation commission calls for 24,000 square feet or a half acre for large dogs and 13,500 square feet or a third of an acre for small dogs with a double entry gate.

It would take advantage of existing fencing around the adjoining 10-acre storm retention basin plus utilized existing shade trees that include a number of large sycamores.