City Dog Park Getting Closer To Reality – Brevard, NC

This article was originally published on July 15, 2019, in the Transylvania Times

Brevard’s own long-awaited dog park is finally happening.

HCA (Hospital Corporations of America) has agreed to deed land owned by HCA to the City of Brevard for the use of a 2.7-acre dog park at the end of Medical Park Drive off N.C. 280.

“The city has been working on this for years, so I’m just happy that HCA was generous enough to do this,” said Michele Pilon, the chief executive and nursing officer of Transylvania Regional Hospital (TRH). “HCA wants to be a good neighbor, so it’s a win-win.”

In November 2017, Brevard City Council authorized City Manager Jim Fatland to negotiate a lease with Mission Hospital for the 2.7 acres on the hospital property, and the agreement was put together but never approved because it was delayed by HCA’s purchase of Mission.

“City Manager Jim Fatland approached me about this and said that they’ve been thinking about this for several years, but it’s never come to fruition, so we started talking and realized we have a piece of property that they could potentially use, and so we worked out agreements,” Pilon said. “Then we got acquired by HCA, and HCA were actually the ones that decided to deed the land.”

Division President Greg Lowe, Regional Hospital President Kathy Guyette and Pilon met with Fatland, Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris and Councilman Mac Morrow on June 28 to inform them that HCA agreed to deed the land, Pilon said.

“Obviously, they were very excited and grateful,” she said.

Pilon, who has a golden retriever, said she, personally, is excited, because her dog provides “pet therapy” for her, and she said that she thinks it could be “great pet therapy” for hospital employees “if they need to go out and relax a little bit.”

Fatland, who had been looking for sites for dog parks, said he’s “very excited that the hospital agreed to deed the property to the city of Brevard.”

“We are anxious to move forward on creating the park for our community,” he said.

Harlow Brown, chief engineer with Brown Consultants, PA, out of Asheville, has designed the park, and estimates that it will be a nine to 10 month process.

“Once the city says go, we develop construction plans and get permits, which is about a three month process,” he said. “Then, since it’s public funds, a contractor is selected by competitive bidding. After council awards the project to a contractor, construction begins and will take about four or five months, depending on good weather.”

The first phase of construction, he said, will be the clearing of the trees, but he said healthy mature trees will be saved.

The park itself, he said, will be divided into a half an acre for small dogs, and 1.5 acres for large dogs, with a fence, a gravel path and a grass ground cover.

Pilon called the project a “good partnership with the city.”

“And from that partnership, it’s an opportunity for the public to be able to have a dog park that it does not have,” she said.


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