Pleasant Ridge will be installing lights at its dog park in Gainsboro Park later this year after approving the measure at its March 14 meeting.

Pleasant Ridge will be installing lights at its dog park in Gainsboro Park later this year after approving the measure at its March 14 meeting.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Pleasant Ridge dog park to get lighting installations later this year

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 4, 2023

PLEASANT RIDGE — Lighting soon will be coming to Pleasant Ridge’s dog park.

At its March 14 meeting, the City Commission unanimously approved the installation of lights at its dog park in Gainsboro Park. This comes after Pleasant Ridge conducted a survey with dog park users to get their feedback on the proposal.

The survey was answered by 66 people, which is about 40% to 45% of all registered dog park users. According to the results, 77% of people who responded were in favor of adding lighting. There also was a willingness from respondents to increase dog park fees to pay for capital improvements to the park.

Other data collected from the survey indicate that users who voted yes for lighting were more willing to pay increased fees for capital improvements; the users who voted no on the addition of lighting did express a willingness to increase fees by $10 a year for other non-lighting capital improvements. Three-quarters of respondents were willing to pay $10 more per year, and half were willing to pay $20 more per year.

“Overall, 26% of respondents are not willing to pay additional fees, 26% are willing to pay $10 additional per year, 24% are willing to pay $20 additional per year, 15% are willing to pay $30 more per year and 9% are willing to pay more than $30 additional per year,” city documents state.

The lighting will be placed at the east entrance of the dog park and point toward Interstate 696 and not at nearby homes on Kensington Boulevard.

“We’re going to do some lighting studies just to make sure that there is no large amount of light pollution for those that live around the dog park,” Mayor Bret Scott told the Woodward Talk.

The net cost to the city after it receives a grant from Oakland County will be $8,000. The annual dog park user fee currently is $30 for residents and $60 for nonresidents. The commission voted to increase the dog park fees by $20 starting July 1.

“That would raise about $3,000 a year for capital improvements,” City Manager James Breuckman said. “So it’d be about a 2 1/2-year payback on the lights and then we could look at, you know, what the next project is at that point, and this will build in some money to keep, you know, the dog park maintained and fresh and updated over time.”

Breuckman said that raising the fees by $10 would start to stretch out the payback times for projects and wouldn’t provide the “bang for the buck” that the $20 increase would.

The other non-lighting capital improvements that were mentioned included water fountain reliability improvement or removing the fountain to have a more reliable spigot, updated seating such as benches or picnic tables, turf improvements, shade additions in the form of trees or shade structures, a wind and weather shelter structure, and additional gravel or concrete at the entrances for mud control.

“We will prioritize getting a reliable water source this year,” Breuckman said. “Again, probably replacing the fountain, which is sort of two-thirds broken, with a spigot and the community garden, and I would think that we’d prioritize a shade or weather structure with updated seating as a next major project, but we’ll come back in a couple years and see where everyone’s at before we proceed with that.”

Scott said the work for the new lighting is expected to take place during the spring or summer.

“We light all of the other parks, and it’s good that this one will also receive some lighting for those times of the year, in particular where it gets dark early, and it allows people to get some extended use out of the park.”