March 14, 2016

Newark Dog Park: Archived Updates

(These are archived updates. To get the latest, go here.)

What’s the Status

5/6/2016: For those of you that weren’t able to attend April 28th Newark City Council meeting, here‘s the Citywide Park Master Plan Workshops (by RHAA) document that outlines how the workshops will be conducted (Starts on PDF page 217). There is no precise date for the workshops, but city will have a Facebook page and will announce in the Tri-City Voice. Also, we just released a Dog Park petition: please sign and SHARE it.

3/10/2016: The Foundation awaits the city’s requirements for submitting feedback for the Citywide Park Master Plan. We plan to attend the workshops to propose  our park project at that time and provide other park feedback for the city as a whole. These workshops are open to the public! 🙂

3/8/2016. In light of the Foundation’s heartbreaking discovery that our park impact fees are extremely low relative to peer cities and that the fees are locked at these very low rates and, unless the city council is unwilling to pursue strong negotiations with housing developers, the potential for growing the pot of money for parks is less than ideal. The Foundation did win 1.5M for the public, but those funds will not be allocated to the park budget. But, there’s still a chance to obtain matching funds, if the city is open to hiring a grant writer.

2/22/2016: As a result of well-executed speeches from the community in support of a Newark Dog Park, on February 11th the Newark City Council agreed to deliver a Citywide Park Master Plan, which outlines all the known park projects. We commend them for their unanimous decision! After that plan is available, the Newark City Council intends to solicit feedback from the public on how these projects should be prioritized. These “workshops” will take place in the coming months. The Newark City Council confirmed that there will be additional funds in the amount of six million dollars (6,000,000) in the 2016-2018 budget cycle, not including the 2M in the fund currently. Although a dog park costs only one million (1,000,000), the city doesn’t intend to spend the entire pot, and rightly so.

What’s Our Strategy

3/8/2016: The Foundation awaits the city’s requirements for submitting feedback for the Citywide Park Master Plan. We plan to attend the September 2016 master plan work sessions and to submit our park project during that time. We will notify you if your attendance is required or if a representative is sufficient. From there, we will leave the decisions in the hands of the council. We will be sure to circulate our video to remind the council of comments made by users at previous council meetings.

2/20/2016: Because Newark Parks Foundation believes in outdoor recreation for all, we want to minimize any possibility of competing for funds. We also believe in a sustainable source of future revenue for parks and recreation and for our city’s budget overall. Our strategy is to:

  • Grow the pot! We believe the City of Newark can increase its park impact fees and still be competitive. We will make this case in an upcoming City Council Meeting, after a bit of research.
  • Suggest park criteria. We believe that a Dog Park is a worthy investment based on merit alone. We intend to suggest criteria that’s fair and that helps guide the community through difficult choices.
  • Be Positive. Nothing turns off listeners more than comments that aren’t constructive. We will try to stay positive.