SAN MARCOS - The City of San Marcos was slated to reopen the city’s dog park at the end of October but there’s been a delay.
In late August, the city announced renovations were coming to the dog park at 250 Charles Austin Drive with an estimated two-month construction period. However, Mother Nature had other plans.
"When it rains the whole month of October, it's hard for us to keep that schedule," Bert Stratemann with the city's Parks and Recreation Department said.
In order to keep the city's dog population happy and healthy, a temporary park was opened and is still open at Ramon Lucio Park at 601 S CM Allen Parkway.
"It is a big space so the dogs can't really tell the difference. As long as they're happy," dog owner Camila Ezeta said.
However, some residents have said they were unaware of the temporary location change.
"I didn't even know that this park was here until today actually," dog owner MacShayne Walpole said. "I would just be wasting my gas trying to see what was going on with the [original] park."
Dog owners believe there's a lack of communication from the city.
"It's just confusing because I don't know when it's going to be ready so I don't know if I should check that one first and then come to this [temporary] one," dog owner Ruby Hernandez said.
"I'm sure there's a lot of frustration because I've been commenting on Facebook, asking people, 'Hey, do you know when the dog park's done?' because there's not really any communication between the city and us," Walpole said.
Stratemann said the plan is to have two small dog areas and two big dog areas. The city hopes to open up two out of four renovated areas on one side by mid-November. The other two areas on the opposite side are requiring more drainage work.
"We had to do extensive dirt work in those areas. They're going to take a little bit of time, at least three to four weeks for some grass to take root and not to be just a big mudhole," Stratemann said.
Stratemann said San Marcos dog owners have been after the city to make these improvements. He asks for them to bare with the city a little longer, and continue using the temporary park at Ramon Lucio Park and not the park under construction.
"We're 90 percent of the way there. If we could just get a week's worth of dry weather, we would be really good. People are still bringing their dogs out here to the dog park (under construction) and we ask if you can just refrain for a few more weeks, we'll get this open as quick as possible. The more use that we have, the harder it is for us to finish the project," Stratemann said.
Renovations at the park will include expanded play areas and ADA accessibility, additional shade and picnic tables and more water fountains. Eventually, Stratemann said, there will be more agility equipment for the dogs once funding is allotted.
"I'm really thankful that this city is dog-friendly and that they're improving the dog's lives and the people's lives," Walpole said.