Dogs to get their park, but other work on hold

By Richard Yager….
Almost 11 years after the land purchase, West Kendall will get its first District Park facility, a new dog park, by summer.

However, current budgeting pinches do not provide operating funds for major new capital projects, delaying any additional new development for the next four years, according to a Parks Department spokesperson.

The 6.5-acre Dog Park planned to open in June represents the first project to be built on a 152- acre tract of farmland purchased by the county in 2000 for $10.3 million and designated for a major district park to serve southwest Miami- Dade County.

While plans remain on the drawing board for 20 major facilities, the $23 million BBC funds allocated for park development is still “not sufficient to develop all elements of the general plan,” according to Laura Phillips, information officer for Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department.

The first $6 million allocation of Building Better Communities bond issue funds programmed under the 2008 Bond Series were withdrawn, due to the limits of capital and operating funds, she said. Capital and operating funds were reallocated to projects ready for construction.

“Funding to operate major new facilities is not currently available,” Phillips said. “The $23 million in total funding is intact, but none of it is programmed within the next two bond sales, meaning that any further development is not expected within the next four years.”

To build the Dog Park, the Parks Department drew on $1.18 million from the Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond program and park impact fees, she said.

The approximate 4.7 acres that dogs and their owners will enjoy is tucked into a northeast corner of the tract between a newly extended SW 157th Avenue opposite a group of Sunflower at The Hammocks homes that border Black Creek Canal (C-1).

The park will include an 18- by 38-foot shade structure, eight-foot wide walkways bordered by benches, picnic tables, a dog drinking fountain and a 500-square-foot restroom that includes electrical services.

Fencing will delineate areas for small- to medium-sized dogs and larger dogs with directional signage. An information kiosk also is planned.

The general plan for future West Kendall District Park development includes a recreation center, family aquatic center, soccer and softball complexes, tennis and basketball courts, cricket and football fields, a skate park, bicycle courses with a greenway connection, lake and canoe concession plus extensive picnic and playground areas.

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1 Comment on "Dogs to get their park, but other work on hold"

  1. Our parks need to keep developing, we have met over the years to help design this and I am almost on my third dog, and they really didn't need the park, we share the park next to the Hammock's Police Station with dogs, and my 3 year old granddaughter, and now we really need to develop places for our Children, Seniors, Teens and community members… our community doesn't need to go to the dogs first. Places for meetings, and concerts, and the like. MKB

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