Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

March 14, 2014

Dog park and firefighters' training get dollars

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Two persons asked the Batesville City Council for Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing funding March 10. After the votes, one left more satisfied than the other.

A temporary dog park was trialed at Liberty Park east of the tennis courts last summer. A fund to collect dollars to construct and maintain a permanent park was established by the council last month and a committee has been formed.

Committee representative Lisa Kappes made asked for funding for three projects totaling $11,000.

“Our first request is to get the major drainage issue fixed in the area,” estimated to cost $1,990 in a bid by Schuman Excavating, Brookville. “Last year, there were times almost the entire dog park was under water.”

A permanent entrance is another need. An estimate by Red Forge Inc., Batesville, came in at $8,632. She explained suggestions were made to have more than one gate, so dogs could not accidentally escape. “The main entrance gate will have an arched decorative top, and then the area you enter will be 12 by 14 feet. Inside this area there will be two more gate areas, one for the small dog entrance, and one for the large dog entrance .... All gates and fencing will be 5 feet high, to match the chain link fence height.”

“We would like to make this area the focal point of the new park, and be able to use it not only this year with the temporary fencing, but also after funds are raised to install a permanent chain link fence .... This area will be made with very solid metal gates and fencing and look very nice as you enter ... Chain link fencing and gates could be used, but would not look as attractive or hold up nearly as well as the metal fencing.”

The final $378 request would be used as seed money for getting the word out about efforts being made to install a permanent dog park and help raise money. One idea is an owners-and-dogs walk in the fall. “We are also applying for a grant through the Ripley County Community Foundation, and will also be looking into other grant opportunities,” Kappes promised.

Council member Darrick Cox said, “I’d like to commend you for taking action.” He was concerned the entrance estimate was “pretty steep.” Cox thought fundraising would gather dollars for some of the infrastructure.

According to Kappes, fundraising dollars will be used for a 5-foot-tall more attractive fence, water line and some type of fountain for thirsty canines and benches “to make it nicer for the animals and their owners.”

Council President Gene Lambert asked if the committee had formulated a total budget and Kappes answered, “Not right now.” He suggested members get competitive quotes for the various aspects and also a formal budget. “I want it to be a reality, but I don’t want (the council) to pay for the whole thing.”

The council voted to earmark $2,500 for drainage upgrades and advertising efforts. The next day, Kappes said, “I was pleased with the vote last night. It was a long shot to go in and ask for so much money before we had our first fundraiser. Their feedback will help us to be more prepared next time. Plus, we now have enough money to fix the drainage issues. That will allow us to move forward and set up the temporary fencing early this spring so that the community can start using the dog park.”

Chief Todd Schutte asked that $2,250 be allotted so that six Batesville Fire and Rescue Department officers can attend the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference April 7-12 at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. “It’s the largest in the nation.” Assistant Chief and council member Bob “Tuba” Narwold added, “We don’t get that training around here.” The council agreed to spend the full amount. Attendees will bring information back to provide training to others.

The Belterra fund balance is $62,672, according to clerk-treasurer Ron Weigel.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

Dog park details • According to Lisa Kappes, "We will keep everyone informed of progress" on the Facebook page located at https://www.facebook.com/batesvillesdogpark. • In addition to Kappes, committee members are Mike Baumer, Judy Behlmer, Tina Farrall, Erin Fitzpatrick, Joy Lake, Laura Losacker, Katie Schnur, Nick Stewart and Teddy Westside. "We are currently looking for more volunteers to help out," she said. Prospective committee members are invited to a meeting Monday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at the future site of the dog park (Liberty Park next to the tennis courts). • Donations can be made by tax-deductible checks to City of Batesville, attention Dog Park Fund. These checks can be dropped off or mailed to Clerk-Treasurer Ronald Weigel, 132 S. Main St., Batesville, IN 47006. A receipt will be given or mailed. • Prospective and regular Batesville Dog Park Committee members will meet April 7, 7 p.m., dog park's future site, Liberty Park next to tennis courts.