Carmi Memorial Dog Park…it’s gotta nice ring to it…even if, as Alex O’Daniel admits “Most people are just gonna call it ‘the dog park”. Erica Zieren along with STEM student O’Daniel presented an update to Carmi City Council Tuesday evening including the official naming submission. “Since the March 5th Council Meeting, we’ve raised $11,685.90 which I think is great because it shows the community support for this. The name we’d like to propose is the Carmi Memorial Dog Park. We know it’ll probably end up just being called the dog park, so this wasn’t a major concern. But our main idea with this is down the road with this if we need more funding, we had an idea that at the shelter to put a place for memorial plaques where people can make donations in memory of pets or people who’ve loved pets that would be a great way for people to remember somebody and for something they would’ve enjoyed.” Zerien continued, “We’ve had at least 3 families in town that when they’re loved ones passed away in the last few months designate memorial contributions specifically to the dog park. So between that and thinking ahead on making a memorial wall, that’s the name the kids thought would be best.”
The Phase 1 costs are expected to be $13,848.90 and the group has enough to go ahead and get started. Zieren hopes with decent weather by the end of summer the fencing with gates will be complete as will the concrete pad. The last piece of phase 1 will be the shelter. And Zieren’s Science, Tech, Engineering and Math class already has more than 800 pounds worth of the category 5 plastic needed for 4 benches. O’Daniel says, “With our plastic collection, we have a drop box outside the school that people have been able to put plastic at throughout the summer. We’ve had to empty it once a week, sometimes twice. So we’ve gained a lot over the summer. We already have enough for 4 benches and expect many more. So with the plastic, it reduces the cost of the benches to $250 where they’re $800 – $900 to buy outright, so it saves a bunch of money right there.”
Mayor Jeff Pollard says he’s working with County Engineer Brian Ray and also trying to get the Carmi Township involved hoping they can get the roadway cut with the grater as well as a parking area. Furthermore, he told Zieren and O’Daniel, “When you get ready to do it, we’ll sit down and get the construction part of the shelter figured out and we can go ahead whether you’re short some funds, we can go ahead and build the shelter to get it up and going and then you can reimburse us back into that account like it was. So I think that when we wanna move forward with it, we’ll have the means to do it.”
The group has raised that nearly $12,000 in just over 4 months.
Also at last night’s Council Meeting, Pollard gave an update on the tennis court project saying he’d spoken with Brent Edwards of O’Daniel Trucking and is hoping they can get started this week yet on the courts and potentially have their part finished by the end of next week. Once that’s done, the courts can be sealed and have the nets and fence back up so the courts will be ready for use by August.
And finally, the city has mailed out letters and emailed some local business owners to gauge the interest in organizing a Christmas Light Display through Burrell Woods. Lance Yearby has headed up the idea on the project and will certainly play a role in the idea moving forward once he finishes up with his Rally Points Event, the Salute to Music Fest in Evansville in September. The display, if it all comes together, would be around November 29th through January 3rd with canned goods to benefit local food pantries as the admission fee. We’ll have more on that effort soon.