Officials await soil report for proposed dog park.

dog-parksASHLAND — The Ashland Board of City Commissioners on Thursday approved amending two ordinances related to leashed pets as it awaits test results to ensure Central Park soil won’t harm dogs.

A small dog park is planned for installation above the plot of land in Central Park previously occupied by a now-defunct ice-skating rink.

The commission voted 4-1 on Sept. 8 in favor of recycling the rink’s 150-by-150-foot fence to set parameters for the new dog park.

But Commissioner Larry Brown, who cast the lone dissenting vote, voiced concern the following morning about the possible lingering presence of antifreeze in the ground below the proposed dog park.

Parks and recreation director Sean Murray said the soil has been tested and the parks department is waiting for results, Commissioner Amanda Clark announced Thursday during the commission’s meeting.

The commission approved revising the city’s rules on dogs and the use of Central Park to prepare for the planned installation.

Pets must remain on leashes if walked outside in city limits, and aren’t currently allowed within the sidewalks surrounding Central Park.

The dog park would serve as an exemption for visitors to unleash their dogs inside the closed Central Park space.

The commission also approved the adoption of the “Ashland E-nnovation Broadband Strategic Plan.” The plan to improve Internet connection speeds in Ashland was crafted through the service of Pennsylvania-based consulting group Michael Baker International, which was paid for with a $75,000 grant from the Kentucky Communications Network Authority.

During the past five months, city leaders met with business owners and other members of the community to develop the strategic plan. The city hopes it will lead to improved connection speeds that could entice companies to the area.

“We believe it could be a huge advantage, especially in our downtown area, to attract more technology types of business,” said Mayor Chuck Charles.

Ashland is one of many eastern Kentucky communities working to improve Internet access. Last week, Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s “absolutely committed” to completing “KentuckyWired,” a project designed to construct a statewide, $270 million broadband network.

The commission is scheduled to meet again at noon Oct. 6.

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