County joins the pack, adds dog park in Mooney Grove

Tulare County General Services Agency applies for a grant to fund half the costs of bringing a dog park to Mooney Grove

VISALIA – As various cities in the county have recently added dog parks to their city amenities, dogs across the county will now have a designated area to run leash free in Mooney Grove park, hopefully with the help of a grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

On May 2, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved an application for funding from the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The application is to cover up to 50% of the costs for construction of the previously approved Mooney Grove Dog Park. The DPR released the land and water conservation fund grant program (LWCF) to support the acquisition or development of land to create new outdoor recreation opportunities for the health and wellness of Californians. Brooke Sisk, general services agency director said she is excited to have this opportunity for funding.

“The community is very excited about this project and we’ve talked a lot about it at the parks advisory committee,” Sisk said. “It’s really an opportunity to provide an additional recreational opportunity to the public that we do not currently have at any of our parks.”

The Mooney Grove dog park was approved last August as a part of the county’s five year capital improvement plan (CIP). The estimated cost to build the park is $200,000; half of which was allocated through the CIP. An additional $100,000 was approved for the project at the mid-year budget review due to the increase in material and construction costs according to Sisk. If the county is granted this funding it could provide relief of up to half of the total costs.

The park will include a section for both small and large dogs, various amenities as well as a water feature of some kind. It will be located on the western side of the park near what is known as Lyon Country in the park. Sisk said it will not interfere with any current disc golf courses. According to the staff report, the expected award announcement will be in December of this year. If the county is awarded the funding, it will be taken as a reimbursement which would allow the county to use the funding for other parks and recreational plans throughout the county.

“If that happens, the funds that we currently have allocated for the dog park project would be able to be used for other projects, as we know we have a variety of other projects in the queue to be completed at Mooney Grove and other parks,” Sisk said to the board.

Once granted, there is a project-completion deadline of three years from the time of the award. According to the staff report, this project is an ideal candidate for this grant as the plans are currently in progress and will meet the 3-year project completion timeline.

The LWCF has a total estimated available funding of $30 million. It is a federally funded match grant reimbursable program with no minimum grant request amount. There is however a maximum request amount of $6 million per project, the county’s project being well below that. The LWCF grant does require a minimum match amount of at least 50% in which applicants must identify sources to cash-flow the entire project upfront. Additionally, projects are eligible for retroactive reimbursement if costs were incurred within a 3-year period prior to the date of selection.

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