Advantage — Ford.
A city-appointed committee has voted 5-0 to recommend the city adopt the proposed “Advantage Ford Bark Park” name for the future dog park to honor its largest donor.
Wynndee Lee, the city’s director of planning and codes administration, and Bark Park Boosters representatives brought the proposed name to the Ottawa City Commission in early June after Advantage Ford, 402 N. Main St., Ottawa, pledged $10,000 for the project.
Per city policy for the naming of public facilities, the city commission established a five-person committee to review the requested name for the dog park, which is to be built in the northwest corner of Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa.
The city is expected to take formal action on the proposed name at its 9:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.
The five members of the naming committee — Sara Caylor, mayor; Deb Barker, Franklin County Historical Society director; John Boyd, Ottawa Planning Commission chair; John Coen, president and chief executive officer of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce; and Andy Haney, city public works director — all expressed their support for the proposed “Advantage Ford Bark Park” name during their meeting last week.
Barker indicated she had no problem naming the dog park for the donor, which she said is commonly done these days, while Coen said Advantage Ford was a strong business member of the community and this was a magnanimous gift, according to the meeting’s minutes. Coen recommended the name be approved.
Boyd asked if any other names had been suggested for the park. Lee indicated no other names had been proposed. Boyd said that given the significance of the gift and no other suggestions, he thought the requested name was appropriate.
The committee — in addition to endorsing the proposed Advantage Ford name — suggested if the business ever changed its name or ceased to exist, the city commission take action to consider an appropriate name at that time, and that the city commission consider amending the city’s policy to add language to that effect for all future naming applications.
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 in June. “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 in June.
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 at a June study session.