Parks in Edgewood may soon be growing in number and changing in appearance, as some paperwork has been cleared.
At a budget meeting Tuesday morning, Deputy Clerk Carla Salazar introduced proposals for a new dog park to be constructed next to the Animal Control Center, and for a bike park to be incorporated into Venus Park.
According to Salazar, “the dog park idea has been percolating for a long time.” Meeting attendees agreed that there was a need for a designated dog park—with separate sections for large and small dogs—since Venus Park is used for sports and other park activities, making unattended dog waste a problem for park users.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Tawnya Mortensen agreed, saying later: “I think a dog park would be very beneficial to the town, especially to the soccer players that have to … dodge what pet owners leave behind.”
A request for $200,000 was made to establish the dog park.
Salazar also requested $150,000 for the construction of a BMX-style bike park to be added to Venus Park. According to her, fundraising for the bike project has already begun.
Additional funds granted would go toward the completion of the vision that launched the initial fundraising efforts, she said. A proposal on the suggested bike park is expected at the next budgetary meeting scheduled for July 20.
Progress has been made on cleaning up Echo Ridge Park. Mayor Pro Tem John Abrams said agreements with the Bureau of Land Management (from whom the town leases the land) and the N.M. Department of Transportation have already been signed.
According to Abrams, this will allow the Town of Edgewood to go ahead and secure funding and design work on any future plans for the park. He said there was only one document left to be finalized, then “we can go out and build.”
Illegal dumping has continued to be a problem at the park. Recently an entire hog was dumped at the site, said a meeting attendee whose name could not be discerned.
This caused enough of a problem that a backhoe had to be brought out in order to bury the rotting corpse, said Salazar.
Self-made truck trails that have been etched into the ground around the park show that it has become “too drivable,” Salazar said. She also noted that several park-goers have been entering the park at its southeast point rather than using the official entrance off Martinez Road.
Salazar recommended that boulders be brought in to prevent auto traffic in unauthorized places, and to restrict access to popular illegal dumping spots within the park.
Movement on the pony truss bridge project at Venus Park can also be expected shortly. Salazar said that the town “should be issuing the notice of award and the notice to proceed [with the project] soon.”
The bridge has sat in disuse near Venus Park while logistics have been discussed on how to go about installing the 60-foot-long bridge over Bachelor Draw to serve as part of a walking path.
The bridge was built by the N.M. Highway Commission in approximately 1930, according to Gary Kinchen of the NMDOT Bridge Design Bureau. It originally carried U.S. 380 over Taylor Canyon near Carrizozo, but was replaced with a newer model bridge built in the 1980s, said Kinchen.