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The dog park at Greenway Farms in Hixson, Tenn., is popular with pet owners in that community as seen in this February 2016 file photo. A recent survey on Fort Oglethorpe's website revealed strong interest in establishing a similar dog park in the city.

Editor's note: This story first appeared in Community News.

Fort Oglethorpe is making plans for a dog park after a community survey found many residents support the idea.

The survey was conducted from mid-November through the end of December, and it asked residents to weigh in on building of a dog park at Van Cleve Street and Patterson Avenue. Of the 235 people who participated, 89 percent believed the city would benefit from a dog park.

The land is already owned by the city. It will soon become home to a 400-by-150-foot fenced-in area with separate spaces for large and small dogs, along with benches, shady trees and lighting.

A budget of $40,000 has been set for construction, with $15,000 already allocated into a restricted fund, leaving City Manager Jennifer Payne-Simpkins to figure out how the remaining $25,000 will be raised.

She might not have to look too far.

When asked if they would be willing to purchase plaques to help pay for the park, well over half of the survey respondents said they would reach into their own pockets for the project.

Payne-Simpkins said the next step is to gather a group of survey takers who said they would volunteer to help build the park and find more ways to offset the $25,000 budget.

"The whole success of the project hinges on that conversation," she said.

She plans to get this group of dog-lovers together within the next 30 days, with a plan going to the city council within the first half of the new year.

Payne-Simpkins has a dog of her own and said she was pleased to see the overwhelming amount of positive responses from her community.

Contact Alexandra Farmer at afarmer@timesfreepress.com.

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