wet dog

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The Elmwood Neighborhood Association won $9,157 from the Mayor’s Grow South initiative to build a dog park, which they thought could open as soon as this past April.

Turns out, it’s not that simple.

To build the park itself, all they need to do is put a fence around the median at Edgefield and Newport, add some ground covering and install a doggie-doo station.

Making sure the city approves of all those plans is another endeavor entirely.

Neighborhood association president Kenneth Denson says he’s had several meetings with city staff since receiving the grant, and those meetings often lead to more meeting.

“I don’t want to make it seem like I’m complaining about the city, because I am not,” he says.

But working through the bureaucracy has been a trial.

Most recently, he found out that an application for land use is needed, and the application fee for that costs $1,000. So he’s trying to get that waived.

“The city gave us ten thousand, and now they’re asking for a thousand back, Denson says.”

The park also has received a $5,000 pledge from Ann’s Health Food Center.

“They’ve been big supporters, and they’re accepting donations for the dog park a well,” Denson says.

With the extra money, the neighborhood association can have a water meter installed, he says. They want to set up a nonprofit to pay the water bill and for maintenance and upkeep.

“As soon as the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed with (the city), then it’s just a matter of scheduling and getting the work done,” Denson says.