Dog park gets go-ahead, again, in Coloma Twp.

The Coloma Charter Township Hall is pictured April 7, 2018.

COLOMA — Construction on the the Amicus Dog Park in Coloma Township will resume in eight days thanks to action by the Township Board on Wednesday night. 

The board approved a special use permit for the park. The area, which has been a park since Washington School was demolished, is zoned residential so a special use permit has always been needed.

The township had to apply to itself because it will assume responsibility for the park after Caleigh Dahn, who is creating the dog park for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, is done with construction.

Rory Bell, the township’s maintenance supervisor, told Dahn and the board Wednesday that stronger fence posts will have to be installed. 

He said the ones that were installed by Dahn are already bending because they are residential grade and need to be commercial. He said this poses a maintenance problem if he has to constantly fix sections of the fence that are pushed over. 

Dahn said she does not have the money to buy new fences, but Bell and the Township Board agreed to help Dahn find stronger, cost-effective barriers. 

In addition to new fences, the Township Board said it will need a new site plan from Dahn that is made on a plat map of the site. The Township Board agreed to help her with that as well. 

When the Township Planning Commission recommended approving the permit 5-1 at it’s meeting last month, it laid out five conditions the township had to follow.

They were that appropriate hours and days are set and it’s closed during baseball tournaments at the park; that a detailed maintenance schedule is created; that the driveway next to the park is graded properly; and that the Planning Commission perform an annual review of how the park is doing.

The other condition was that a privacy fence between the next door property be erected.

Roxann Daugherty, whose daughter and granddaughter live next to the site, had previously asked the township for the privacy fence between the park and her daughter’s property.

She told the board Wednesday night she never asked for the fence, so the board took it out of the conditions with its approval. 

Trustees agreed the other conditions are very easy to accomplish. 

In other business, the Township Board appointed Bob Howell to the trustee position left open by the resignation of Matt Moser in August. The term goes through November 2020. 

Howell serves on the township’s Planning Commission and Board of Review. 

Clerk Sandy Kraemer said the township got five letters of interest for the position, and the trustees felt that with Howell’s experience on other boards he was the most qualified. 

Police Chief Jason Roe said the township needs to be in compliance with state requirements by separating the township’s administration department and police department with a physical barrier.  

He said this has to be done because of the sensitive material the police department handles, which regular administrative staff could hear over radios or phone calls and see on computer screens or on desks or copiers. 

Roe suggested building a wall would be the most cost-effective option. 

Trustees agreed they would like to explore all options, including possibly using an unused back section of the building. Roe said the department would be docked during its next audit this fall if a physical barrier is not erected. 

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman