ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Ground will be broken for the Belmont County Dog Park Project at 10 a.m. Monday, according to Sheriff David Lucas.
“This project has been a long time coming, and it has taken a community joining together to provide this amenity to Belmont County at no cost to the taxpayers,” Lucas noted.
All supporters of the project are invited to join the groundbreaking event. The project comes to fruition with the addition of Lowe’s in St. Clairsville and the Belmont Correctional Institute to a long list of community supporters. The dog park will be located off Ohio 331 behind the Belmont County Health Department and adjacent to the current Fox Shannon Park.
Lucas said that what started out as a vision is now becoming reality, but not without a lot of effort by a number of key people.
“The commissioners were willing to make the land available for this project, and the location is easily accessible to residents and travelers alike,” commission President J.P. Dutton said. “This is an exciting opportunity for our residents and their four-legged friends. It will be a quiet, beautiful and safe location to exercise and socialize our canine friends.”
St. Clairsville Lowe’s Manager Ryan Hudson said, “I was excited to have Lowe’s partner with the dog park project to help minimize the fencing material costs and to add our manpower support.”
Lucas expressed gratitude to BCI Warden David Gray, his staff and inmates for agreeing to provide the manpower to help with the installation of the fencing.
“Warden Gray enthusiastically embraced the project and has offered the labor and expertise we need to get the fencing up,” the sheriff said.
Additional local contractors have offered their assistance on the project as well.
“This project required an enormous amount of front-end work to move it from an idea to breaking ground,” Lucas said. “My outreach coordinator was able to obtain a NatureWorks grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and set up a program where people can order engraved bricks for use at the entrance to the park. A significant anonymous donation was recently received that will allow us to proceed on additions to the dog park. A number of citizens and organizations have made sizable donations toward the project. Our current ’30 days of Winning Gun Raffle’ in conjunction with The Road Home Animal Project, has brought in additional funds. Whether you donated a dollar or thousands — the community helped make this happen.”
Chris Shriver, president of the Road Home Animal Project, added, “This project has been a major undertaking. Our treasurer, Dana Goletz, and other board members, along with the sheriff’s outreach coordinator, Sherri VanTassel, did a final push to sell the gun raffle tickets for seven Saturdays in a row at different community locations. We are thrilled to see the fencing going up — it makes it real.”
The Belmont County Dog Park Project is a collaborative project of the Belmont County commissioners, The Road Home Animal Project and the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office.