Roselli Dog Park Debate in Treasure Island Heads to Second Round

TREASURE ISLAND — Once again, dog park fanciers and opponents living adjacent to Roselli Park will get a chance to weigh in on whether a dog exercise run should become part of the neighborhood park landscape during the next City Commission regular meeting Tuesday, March. 5.

Several Isle of Capri Civic Association residents, and supporters of Treasure Island having its own dog park, have asked the city to install a dog run at Roselli Park, on Capri Circle South and Second Street; they promised to fund the entire dog park with donations. The proposed dog area would be fenced and feature separate sections for large and small dogs, a water fountain and other amenities.

Recently, during a commission meeting, some residents at a 30-unit condominium complex next to the park voiced objection to the request.

The topic was re-introduced to the commission during a Feb. 19 work session. Justin Tramble, assistant director of recreation, said the department has been working to address concerns of condominium residents whose homes are adjacent to the park. The perimeter of the dog park fencing will now be set a distance away from the sidewalk and a vegetative buffer will be considered to reduce the potential of noise from barking dogs.

Dawn to dusk hours are being considered for the dog park, and proposed lighting has been eliminated.

Cathy Hayduke, recreation director, said the public would have a chance to voice their opinions during the March 5 commission meeting. Commissioners could then decide whether to place the item on the next regular session for a vote, put it into the city’s long-term park master plan or table it.

When the idea was first presented to commissioners, Tramble advised “every other week we’re asked about a dog park. We believe Roselli Park has potential to be an excellent venue for a signature dog park.”

Treasure Bay Recreation Center

During the upcoming regular meeting, commissioners also will vote on an amendment to restructure the Treasure Bay Recreation Center.

During the Feb. 19 work session, Hayduke advised commissioners that “Treasure Bay is a facility in transition, which allows staff to continuously evaluate current operations and procedures and implement changes to improve usage and create revenue generating activities. Staff recently implemented activities such as Foot Golf, the sale of beer and wine and extending the summer weekend hours to increase usage and revenues.”

“Additionally, an advertising budget was implemented in 2018, which allowed staff to promote the new programs at Treasure Bay,” she added.

She told commissioners changes recently made to programs at Treasure Bay have paid off. “As stated in the preliminary fourth quarter financial report for FY 2018, presented by Assistant City Manager Amy Davis, golf fees were $24,720 higher and tennis fees were $7,479 higher than the prior year, and Foot Golf generated an additional $5,257 in revenue. The sale of beer and wine began in April 2017 and generated a total of $2,082 in revenues.”

“The increase in revenues is due to the implementation of new programs and the marketing effort of the Treasure Bay facility. Treasure Bay generates approximately 50 percent cost recovery,” the recreation director explained. “Staff continues to develop new revenue generating activities and provide cost effective savings.”

A budget amendment is needed to implement staff changes at the facility.

“The Recreation Department believes the recommended change aligns with the directive to improve usability and profitability at Treasure Bay, and enhance our ability to achieve the vision of being more community centric,” she told commissioners.

“To continue to initiate creative new ideas, drive usage and increase revenues, staff is developing the following programs: extend weekend hours year-round, offer ‘happy hour’ tennis and golf mixers, promote facility rentals for weddings, birthday parties and corporate functions, increase merchandise sales by incorporating golf gloves, shoes and facility apparel, and continue partnership with the Gulf Beaches Library to enhance both the library and Treasure Bay experience,” she said.

In addition, Recreation plans to “create a welcoming reading area for users of the Library Lending Machine, work with the local chambers and hotel-motel groups to develop partnerships for golf and tennis packages to employees and guests, explore water related activities such as kayak and paddleboard rentals, and organize Foot Golf leagues and additional Glow Golf tournaments.”

On March 5, commissioners will vote on approving a budget amendment for Treasure Bay and authorize appropriation of $5,431 to the Treasure Bay Program from the general fund, as well as amend the authorized positions within the program.

In another recreation item, Tramble told commissioners Recreation continues to design a master plan for all city parks and recreation areas.

Later this year, at a time and date to be determined, residents will be asked to weigh in with their suggestions on master plan amenities during a series of “Park Planning and Pizza” town meetings conducted at Roselli Park, The Sunset Park Pavilion and Treasure Island Recreation Center.

“The city’s Master Park Plan will set the course for the future needs and desires of the community. Planning will provide perspective as to the challenges, identify realistic alternatives and formulate a successful course of action in regards to the parks, recreational facilities and programs provided by the city,” he said.