Council talks about developing a dog park in northeast Quincy
Two leadership positions in Quincy city government were filled and a new dog park was discussed at the Aug. 20 meeting of the Quincy City Council.
Council member Luke Garrison was absent.
Cary Horning first spoke to the council about the Quincy High School Class of 2020 and its efforts to build up funds for its graduation party, aiming for $20,000 to $25,000. She emphasized how the Class of 2020 has done a lot of fundraising and worked, such as picking up garbage at the Gorge and selling Jacks merchandise, to add to the party funds. The city has donated before, but the amount has not increased over the years, while costs have increased, Horning said. She asked the council to consider a donation of $2,000 or more. A decision was not made at the meeting.
Next, the council heard from a representative of Quincy Community Health Center and Vitalant about a proposal for a citywide blood drive competition.
In rapid succession, three public hearings on transportation items were held with no comments made. One hearing was on a revision of C Street SE to make it two-way traffic. The second was on a First Avenue SW and N Street SW intersection revision making it a four-way stop. The third was on the update to the city’s six-year transportation improvement plan. Later in the meeting, the council approved a resolution to adopt the six-year plan.
The council approved a motion to solicit quotes for resurfacing the tennis courts at Lauzier Park and change one of them into pickle ball courts. There is a long crack in the pavement, said Recreation Director Russ Harrington, but it has not prevented play on the courts.
Harrington had another item to talk about: development of a dog park. The city owns the land for it, at Sixth Avenue NE and E Street NE, a block north of the city’s animal shelter. Harrington said the cost is unknown but threw out a figure of $130,000 for discussion purposes. Plans for it include fencing, sod and irrigation, a walking path and trees. Harrington hoped to put the project out to bid to find out what the cost would be. Discussion with the mayor and council included the possibility of adding restrooms at the park, which would add to the cost.
Council member Josey Ferguson said, “I’m going to have a hard time choking down a $150,000 dog park.”
Harrington added that the park would not be exclusively for dogs and their owners. It will be open to everyone.
The motion to put the project to bid was approved.
Later, Harrington said there is no forecast completion date for the dog park, and the city might develop it in pieces.
Howard Van Baugh was not present at the council meeting but was named the maintenance supervisor in the Public Works Department. There were three applicants for the job, which was left open when Dave Reynolds retired in June. The council OK’d the motion for Van Baugh’s employment agreement. He has been a city employee for six years in the Public Works Department, currently as a building maintenance utility worker.
Mayor Paul Worley in his report joked about the roundabout recently opened – Quincy’s first – at State Route 28 and 13th Avenue SW.
“Everybody in town is pleasantly surprised how good the ‘Ariel Belino Memorial Roundabout’ has been working,” Worley said, stirring laughter across the council chambers.
Council member Andrew Royer also commented that the roundabout is working well and that he has seen oversize loads go through it fine.
Council member David Durfee Jr. added, “You’re just not supposed to stop while you’re in the roundabout … keep on going,” a comment that brought out more laughter.
Siebert later said there has not been a rash of tickets or wrecks at the roundabout since it opened on July 19.
After the regular meeting and an executive session, the council returned and voted in favor of an employment agreement with Pat Haley, which named him as the city administrator. With that, Haley officially replaced the former city administrator, Tim Snead, who retired in June. Haley began in March as deputy city administrator and now drops the “deputy” from his job title.
By Dave Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org