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Crecsenta Valley bark park gets thumbs up

But dirt excavation drives price up to more than double initial estimate

July 29, 2011


By spring, dogs and their owners will be able to enjoy off-leash play time together in Crescenta Valley Park. But the changes at the park required to make this possible came in at a price more than double the original estimate.

Los Angeles County supervisors on Monday approved $645,000 in Proposition A funds to build a 1.5-acre off-leash dog zone in the park at 3901 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta — the first of its kind in unincorporated county land.

While the move was hailed by longtime advocates, the price tag was far higher than initial cost estimates of $300,000 because an entire top layer of soil will have to be trucked out of project area, officials said.

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Proposition A was passed by county voters in 1992 to maintain and upgrade facilities at regional parks, beaches, museums and zoos.

The $645,000 will be awarded to the L.A. Conservation Corps in the form of a grant and its crews will build the park, which will be wheelchair accessible.

The cost hike is primarily due to extensive demolition work that was not included in the initial estimate, said Bo Savage, division director for the corps.

Crews have to remove an acre of soil — with bits of concrete and asphalt mixed in — at a depth of 6 to 8 inches, Savage said.

“And it has to be trucked out,” he added.

When the initial estimate was calculated, it was done using rough plans for the park, Savage said, and the revised figure was reached using actual construction drawings, which drove up the price.

The price increase could also be attributed to a rise in material costs, he said.

Construction was to have started last March, but contracting problems delayed the project.

Work is expected to begin on the 1.5-acre area, located in the northwestern corner of the 32-acre Crescenta Valley Park, next month and be completed in March 2012.

Two entryways will be constructed, each leading to separate areas — one for large dogs, the other for small dogs. There will also be a six-foot-high fence, benches and shade coverings. Drinking fountains will be installed for dog owners and water faucets will available for their canines.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich has supported the proposal since the beginning, when a citizens group called CV DOGS — Community Volunteers for Dogs Off-Leash Gathering and Socializing — gathered about 2,500 signatures from dog-park supporters.

On its website, CV DOGS estimates that there are 103,903 dog owners, including singles and family members, in the Crescenta Valley, making for a total of 59,273 dogs.

The organization has argued that other groups — such as skateboarders and equestrian owners — have been given special consideration for their park needs.

“La Crescenta itself has 7,000 dog owners, which makes it an ideal place to start such a project in L.A. County,” Jim Klose, president of group, told supervisors at their meeting last week.

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