Fri, Mar 31, 2023
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Willapa Harbor Herald
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Toledo approves dog park, bike park as uses for ponds

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The Toledo City Council is looking at possibly installing a bike park and a dog park at the site of their current sewer plant after the facility is taken offline later this spring.

Discussed during the council's Jan. 20 meeting, officials had asked the Park Board to submit a list of recommended uses for the site, which houses two lagoons expected to be decommissioned after an upgraded sewer system is completed sometime around May.

In a report dated Jan. 16, the Park Board said they feel the larger of the two lagoons, approximately three acres, could be divided into a dog park with areas for large and small animals, as well as a bike park with a trail system, skills area and a pump park.

The report also said the board has yet to determine what the second lagoon could be used for, but said potential recommendations include a fishing pond, a wildlife viewing area and a water park.

"I think their recommendations are pretty good," said Mayor Jerry Pratt during the meeting, stating he has already had conversations with some residents regarding a possible dog park in town, stating, "I've got some good interest in that part of it, for sure."

When talking about resources available for filling the ponds, City Clerk Michelle Whitten said enough funds are available in monies set aside for the sewer plant upgrade to fill one third of the large lagoon, which would account for the dog park, but the city would need to look elsewhere for the remaining fill material.

Council Member Steve Dobosh, who works for the Lewis County Department of Public Works, said the county has millions of yards of fill dirt they would be willing to give Toledo for free, with Council Member Mike Thomas, who also works for the county, adding it would be cost-effective to fill both ponds if such a volume of material were available and the extra funding from the plant upgrade could then be used to purchase topsoil to go over the fill.

"They'll load it, they'll haul it," said Thomas of the county, stating the city would simply need to sign a waiver holding the county harmless if, during transportation of the fill, city streets were damaged.

The council did not determine exactly how they will fill the ponds, but did vote to approve the park board's proposal in a 4-1 vote, with Thomas voting against.

Pratt said they will expect to discuss possible uses of the second lagoon during upcoming meetings.

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