Above: Clay Terrace Dog Park in Carmel, IN.
Franklin doesn’t have a lot of amenities, and that includes a dog park.
Is the city on its way to finally getting one?
At the September 15, 2020, meeting of the Franklin Common Council, the Council reviewed a request by Ms. Shelley Tessmer, a District 3 business owner, to explore the possibility of a dog park on property just west of 6855 S. 27th Street.
The day before the Council met the Parks Commission made a motion to recommend the Council investigate the concept of a dog park as a possible use for land on S. 27th Street. This item was forwarded to the Council at the request of Alderwoman Kristen Wilhelm who represents the district.
The Council directed the City Attorney to look into lease options for a public dog park and report back to the Parks Commission that has been reviewing the concept ever since. There are concerns about the proposed location that in the past was listed as a Superfund Site because of past contamination. It was removed from the Superfund list in 2005. The location was designated as “Site Ready for Reuse and Redevelopment” on February 22, 2008.
Because there are a clay cap and monitoring wells in place the Parks Commission made a motion at its February 21, 2021 meeting to return the matter to the Common Council to determine whether or not to spend up to $10,000 for a consultant to determine the viability of the Franklin Superfund Site to be repurposed as a dog park.
City Hall staff has asked Sigma Group, Inc. to provide a proposal for these services. Sigma is a qualified environmental consultant that has worked with the city on previous projects. A proposed agreement would hire Sigma with a not-to exceed budget of $6,600. If approved Sigma would summarize site conditions, data gaps, recommended additional work, and preliminary site development risks.
The aforementioned business owner Shelley Tessmer believes the site is a good one and has suggested a successful model for Franklin to emulate would be an existing dog park in Carmel, Indiana. Among other points about the Carmel park Tessmer says, “700 members pay a monthly membership with a one year waiting list to gain an entry key fob.”
I’m not sure how that would fly here in Franklin. This item is one of many on tonight’s Common Council agenda.
One thing is for sure. This won’t be easy or fast. Complaints are predictable. Increased traffic. Noise from the traffic. Barking. Smells.
Grousing and delays are inevitable. After all, this is Franklin.
UPDATE: Tuesday night, the Common Council approved, with no discussion or debate, a contract with Sigma not to exceed $6,600.