Tonight the Takoma Park City Council considered the fiscal year 2015 city budget, and began a reconciliation process between the City Manager's proposed budget and the City Council's desired changes. Fiscal year 2015 starts on July 1, 2014. The City Manager allocated only enough funds to design the dog park, and doesn't plan to begin construction until March 2015 at the earliest, according to the Public Works budget discussion documents from last week.
Tonight, Ward 2 Council Member Tim Male requested an additional $20,000 - $50,000 for the dog park so that the dog park could be opened during 2015. An additional $50k would allow completion of phase 1, consisting of perimeter fencing and limited ground cover. During the meeting, however, it was unclear whether his request to include additional funds in the "reconciliation document" was adopted.
Council Member Terry Seamens noted that it's possible for a simpler dog park to be created and opened sooner. TakomaDogs proposed a phased dog park project, where phase one of the dog park is to get the fence around the park built and some limited, inexpensive ground cover for heavily trafficked areas, and get the dog park opened by the end of October 2014. Our "phased" proposal is consistent with Council Member Seamens' comments.
City Manager Brian Kenner noted that it is his intention that the dog park be "as operational as we can in fiscal year 15." Despite that, he noted that "money will not be the limiting factor as we think about what will happen in 15." It was unclear from his comments what the "limiting factor" will be, however
The problem continues to be a commitment to finishing the dog park and devoting enough staff time to make it happen in calendar year 2014. As always, to push the City Council to finish the dog park sooner, rather than later, please send City Council your comments by clicking the email addresses, below. Clicking the links will create a new email with pre-filled text (which you can edit if you choose):
- Mayor Bruce Williams: email@example.com
- Ward 1 Council Member Seth Grimes: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward 2 Council Member Tim Male: email@example.com
- Ward 3 Council Member Kate Stewart: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward 4 Council Member Terry Seamens: email@example.com
- Ward 5 Council Member Jarrett Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ward 6 Council Member Fred Schultz: email@example.com