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Burrell Park Will be the Site of New Dog Park

Burrell Park Will Be the Site of New Dog Park


A group of enterprising Carmi White County High School students, members of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Class, better known as STEM won the approval of the Carmi City Council Tuesday night, with the result being a dog park is in the future for Burrel Park.

Several members of the class, led by their teacher, Erica Zieren, explained their plan, which was comprised as part of the class. The students took turns explaining their vision, which was laid out in steps, including research, design, fund raising, legal issues and location.
The class explained after studying areas of interest, a section of the 66 acres the city acquired as an extension of Burrell’s Woods would be the best location. They suggested using roughly two acres, which would be fenced, with plans to add dog agility items.

They explained the initial cost would be upwards of $20,000, but pointed out that much of the plan could be implemented in stages, with the fencing to come first.

The group will partner with Pets at Risk a non-profit organization with plans to hold the first fund-raiser for the project on April 20. Tentative plans are to host a 5-K; FAST AND FURFIOUS, at Burrels Woods. The day could include a dog show, vendors and other activities.

Following the professional presentation, the board expressed a willingness to proceed with the project, officially giving the green light to placing the park at Burrel’s Woods/Park.

The students and Zieren thanked the council and announced they would be working on the details for the April 20 fund-raiser.


Earlier, council approved vacating a portion of an alley in Patridge Addition. The parcel was near Olive Street and while it was listed as an alley, it was explained it had never actually been used as an alley. Vacating the property was a matter of formality.


Council approved revisions to the facade improvement grant program application and agreement. The revisions basically tighten up some of thequalification requirements covering grants to business improvements.


Mayor Pollard explained the contract with Southern Illinois Tree service expires in April and he wanted approval from council to advertise bids for mowing. He said using contractors for vacant lots and other city properties had saved the city, money and manpower.  Bidding packets will be available Thursday after 10 at the city office and must be returned by March 25. That will allow the bids to be presented to the council at the first April council meeting.


The council spent considerable time discussing the compost site, which has become a sore spot as people are not returning keys, they are leaving the gate open and dropping off prohibited items.

The Mayor explained calling the area a compost site was also a problem as the EPA definition of a compost site did not come close to the local site,
A great deal of the discussion concerned the rising cost of rent for the site and other possible sites.

Council approved changing the name of the site to the City of Carmi Landscape Waste Site to supersede any problems with calling it a compost site. Mayor Pollard and the council agreed there is work to be done on the matter.


The mayor explained beginning with the May electric and water bills, a new credit card company will be utilized which means there will be a $1.75 fee if the bill is paid with a debit card. If paid with a credit card, the fee could be much higher. Pollard said the change was due to the fact it cost the city over $23,000 last year to process the cards.


The Mayor also reported Burrel Park will be the site of a Born Learning Trail.

The trail will consist of a paved walking path with nature signs, learning signs, musical instruments that can actually be played, games such as hopscotch, along with benches and other amenities.


The City and Vibracoustic employees will be doing the initial work with invitations to Boy Scouts and 4-H for assistance.


Prior to adjourning for a closed session to discuss personnel, Council woman Sheila Headlee thanked the STEM class for their presentation pointing out, “you are the future.”


Council took no action following the closed session.