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Dog park may delay water play feature at Woodward
This schematic of the proposed dog park at Woodward Park has Woodward Avenue along the top, Bridewell Avenue on the right, and the fenced in storm retention basin on the bottom. - photo by Image Contributed
ON-LINE: Go to, click on Parks & Recreation, and go to dog park review that includes information on various rules suggested by a previous staff study as well as a University of California at Davis report.
What comes first – a dog park or a water play feature?

That could be the $133,901.40 question if Manteca leaders want to fast track a proposed dog park at Woodward Park.

Parks and Recreation Director Steve Houx has prepared a report that essentially says if the Manteca Parks and Recreation Commission recommends the council move forward with the dog park project now that they also tell the City Council what other project they’d like postponed so financial resources can be shifted to make it happen.

The commission meets today at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Park projects scheduled to proceed in the coming months all have restricted funding which means they aren’t impacted by the looming $11.3 million general fund deficit projected to materialize during the fiscal year starting July 1. City Manager Steve Pinkerton believes the city has taken steps so far that will eliminate half of that projected deficit through furloughs, freezing positions, and rethinking how the city operates.

Many of the various neighborhood playground projects are funded with restricted federal funds although there are some with general fund assistance.

The Library Park expansion is expected to start this spring. Given the improvements made so far and the commitment the council has to that project that will include ripping up part of Poplar Avenue and replacing it with grass as well as building a new gazebo and putting in place a 75-seat amphitheatre it is doubtful that money would be touched.

The city also is committed to completing the BMX course in partnership with the Anderson 209 BMX Team at Spreckels Recreation Park. It is targeted for an April opening.

That leaves other improvements at Woodward Park including a water play feature that council had indicated is next up on the funding docket. The design of the water play feature that could cost as much as $400,000 is being held up pending clearance from the San Joaquin County Public Health Department.

Other phase one improvements at Woodward Park include a group picnic shelter, walkway lighting, exercise stations and a regulation-style baseball field in the 10-acre storm retention basin. They were envisions as a three-year effort. The money to do the project is committed from the park facilities paid by new home builders.

Cost of dog park & annual maintenance
The  $133,000 price tag includes a five-foot perimeter fence with separate areas for both small and large dogs, double entry gates for access control, handicapped accessible access, available drinking water on site for both dogs and people, site furniture including benches and tables, both dog waste and trash receptacles, as well as signage posting rules and regulations.

It is estimated to cost $15,000 annually to operate and maintain the park. Staff recommends that the park be shut down at regular intervals to help maintain the turf.

Staff is also recommending the formation of a dog owners group to help support construction and on-going maintenance plus raise funds for items such as site furniture.