Friday, September 29, 2023

Good News: Dump ”Neath the Dog Park

By Rick Racela

OCEAN CITY – Is there anything good to say about finding the lot you were going to build on is a former dump filled with garbage?
Actually there is, if you’re in Cape May County and you’re building a dog park here. It means a lot of changes with a net saving of $8,179 in the earlier $243,991 cost.
When you can’t excavate because there’s garbage down there, it means a lot of adjust-ments, pointed out county Engineer Dale Foster.
Some cost more, but others have to be eliminated, costing less.
“When we hit a landfill,” said Foster on Oct. 7, “we had to eliminate some stuff we were proposing to do.”
That included a large planting of trees and a shed to keep supplies.
“Trees won’t grow in a landfill,” said Foster. “It will be a treeless park, just what’s there now.”
The shed, which would have housed everything from tools to the plastic bags dog walkers use when they walk their dogs, was done away with because “we would have had to put a methane gas monitor in an enclosed structure.
Things that cost more, on the other hand, are necessary because of different ways to hold down anything that would have been stuck in the ground, from fence posts (additional cost, $3,000) to a picnic table (additional cost, $1,150).
“There’s quite a bit to it,” said Foster.
The landfill was discovered when the contractor starting installing a 400-foot water line.
Result: Some 100 tons of garbage had to be taken to the county MUA landfill.
West Bay Construction Inc. of Somers Point, lowest of three bidders, got the dog park con-tract in April.
When the county first started talking about building a “Cape May County Dog Park in Ocean City” – meaning anybody from anywhere in the county can take Fido there – a $75,000 cost was mentioned.
The county felt a dog park was the least it could do for the town whose taxpayers pay 25 percent of the county’s taxes, and contribute to the debt service and operation of the new county animal shelter even though Ocean City has its own animal shelter operated by the Humane Society.
The city will operate and maintain the dog park.
It’s on an acre on 45th Street owned by the county MUA, adjacent to the sewage treat-ment plant.
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