Construction will soon be underway for Ormond Beach's $500K dog park.
YMCA presented the plans for the first dog park in town during a groundbreaking ceremony held at the construction site on Saturday, Sept. 23.
"This is the next part of our exciting project, and without the city and the county and private donors, this would not have been possible,” said Teresa Rand, president and CEO of the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.
The $500,000 dog park's construction was approved by the city commission at the July 25 meeting. Out of that sum, the city plans to give YMCA $247,000 for lifelong fee-free maintenance, which for the residents means the dog park will always be free to the public, regardless if they are a YMCA member or not.
The dog park will be open until 9 p.m. every day and will feature obstacles courses for the dogs as well as a fountain pond for them to splash in. It will be located beside the YMCA on the west side of N. Center Street.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Rand thanked the city commission, Volusia County Council, Volusia ECHO committee, Ormond Beach Family YMCA board members as well as private donors for their support of the project. In attendance was Ormond Beach Police Department Chief Jesse Godfrey and city commissioners Rick Boehm, Dwight Selby and Troy Kent — the latter two who brought along their dogs Duke, Dudley and Daisy.
Charlie Lydecker, one of YMCA's capital campaign donors of the project, spoke at the ceremony as well, telling a story about how he transformed into a dog-lover. The former executive at Brown & Brown, Inc. said he'd never liked dogs until he came home one day from a business trip to find out his family had acquired a new dog, which they named Callie.
“They loved on Callie so much, I realized I was wrong," Lydecker said.
He said people who have dogs love them, and during a subcommittee process, the idea of a new dog park in Ormond Beach was born.
“In the course of that process, it became apparent that a dog park would be really cool," Lydecker said. "I only want to be a part of whatever’s good for the community so I don’t have to be a dog person," he added with a laugh.
Rand said they are a couple of weeks away from receiving their permits, but once they do, construction will begin.