A city-appointed review committee will be tasked with giving the proposed name of the community’s new dog park a test drive to see if it fits.

Advantage Ford, 402 N. Main St., Ottawa, has pledged $10,000 toward the construction of the dog park in the northwest corner of Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa, project organizers announced Monday.

The Bark Park Boosters group has proposed naming the dog park the “Advantage Ford Bark Park” in the donor’s honor.

Wynndee Lee, the city’s director of planning and codes administration, brought the proposed name before Ottawa city commissioners at their study session Monday at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.

“We want to thank Advantage Ford for their significant gift,” Lee, staff coordinator of the dog park project, said. “We hope that others see the value of this park and want to get involved as well.”

The park will consist of two off-leash areas for large and small dogs. During its fundraising campaign, organizers had set a benchmark of $5,000 for a “naming donor.” Advantage Ford’s pledge covers both areas of the park, organizers said.

“We had hoped for a naming donor for one or both of the dog areas, and for Advantage Ford to step forward for both is wonderful,” Kim Geist, co-chair of the Bark Park Boosters group, said. “We are thrilled that Advantage Ford is so committed to our project.”

In late 2012, a group of residents approached the city about developing a dog park, and the Bark Park Boosters committee came about as an extension of that effort. The goal of developing the park is to provide pet owners with a safe place to let their dogs run off-leash, organizers said. The city commission recently approved a proposal to designate the northwest corner of Forest Park for development of the dog park.

The total cost of the park was estimated at $45,000 to $55,000, organizers said. Advantage Ford’s $10,000 pledge puts the total funds raised for the project at more than $24,000, the group said Monday.

The group has set a goal of building the park this fall. If funds are not sufficient for all aspects of the park, it can be built without some play features and training amenities that could be added when more funds are raised, Lee told city commissioners.

Per city policy with regard to naming any public facility, a committee of three to five people is to be established to review the proposed name and make its recommendation to the city commission.

Sara Caylor, Ottawa mayor, said she would like for the committee’s review process to be completed in a short time span. Other commissioners agreed they would like to see the review occur as quickly as possible.

The committee tentatively is to include four members: John Coen, Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer and president; John Boyd, chair of the Ottawa Planning Commission or another designee from the planning commission if Boyd, an Ottawa defense attorney, is not available in the coming days; a representative from the Franklin County Historical Society; and a designee from the city manager’s office. The city commission is expected to formally establish the review committee at its 9:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday.  

The city’s policy of having a committee review proposed names for public facilities was established in 2005 when some alternative names were being discussed for the city’s municipal airport.