Pleasant Ridge seeks input on lighting from dog park membership

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 25, 2023

 Pleasant Ridge is looking into adding lights at the dog park at Gainsboro Park. The current idea would be to install a 30-foot pole with three LED spotlight fixtures.

Pleasant Ridge is looking into adding lights at the dog park at Gainsboro Park. The current idea would be to install a 30-foot pole with three LED spotlight fixtures.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


PLEASANT RIDGE — In the fall, the Pleasant Ridge City Commission met to discuss a petition to add lighting to the dog park at Gainsboro Park.

The commission decided to look more into the lighting, which would be located at the east end of the park. Over the past couple of months, the city formed several ideas on how it At its Jan. 10 meeting, City Manager James Breuckman presented the commission with three options for lights at the dog park. The first would be to have DTE Energy install streetlight-style lights on a pole near each entrance; the second would be for the city to install a 30-foot pole with three LED spotlight fixtures; and the third would be the installation of two arbor poles that match those already in Gainsboro and a smaller pole with twin LED floodlights.

The DTE option, Breuckman said, might cost $6,000 to $12,000, plus an annual fee, because the company most likely would want to install a new post in the ground. The 30-foot pole would cost around $14,000, and the arbor poles option would cost close to $36,000.

Breuckman said a project like this was not in the capital improvement budget for Pleasant Ridge this year, but the city could cover the cost through the dog park membership fees.

“The dog park is a membership use that is maintained and operated through the fees charged to the users,” he said. “It’s not something open to the general community. … if we wanted to do something, the commission could assess that back to the users over a number of years.”

Breuckman said the city could send dog park members, of which there are approximately 150, a survey to ask them what they would be willing to pay in addition to the current fee. Members currently pay $30 annually.

“A $10 increase would raise $1,500 a year, assuming those numbers stay consistent,” he said.

The commission felt the second option, to install a 30-foot pole, was the best choice. Commissioner Katy Schmier said she liked the idea of looking at the light installation for next fiscal year as well as surveying the dog park members.

“As a dog park member and just from talking to people, I think there is a lot of openness to the increase of fees, which have not increased over, certainly, the last three years,” she said. “Based on my conversations and … personal view, I think an increase of cost would be something people would definitely be willing to pay, but I think putting that survey out, if it’s, you know, doable to find out how much, is a great idea and trying to cover as much of the cost with membership is great.”

Though it was presented to get feedback from the Recreation Board first, Breuckman felt that going to the members first to get their input was for the best.

“I’m curious to know what the dog park members think is a reasonable amount. If it’s $20 a year, then that’s going to raise $3,000 of payback per year. So we might be looking at a five-year payback for the improvement,” he said. “The dog park, it’s been kind of, you know, static. It’s been the same for quite some time. Twenty dollars a year or even $30 a year of increased membership fees might be palatable if they understand that, OK, four years, the lights are gonna be paid off and then we’ll come back and we’ll figure out what the next improvement they want to make is.”

“It’s sort of actually building in some capital improvement funding into the dog park membership fees,” he continued. “Currently, it just pays for maintenance. … I would want to get the dog park membership’s input on what that number is and then we can start to plan. … Maybe at that point, we can go back to the Rec Commission and actually present them with some data and some actionable feedback.”