FOLEY – After more than five years of popularity and frequent use, Foley plans to renovate its Dog Park and is looking at opening a second pet facility to make life better for local canines and their human companions.

The city has approved $25,000 in renovations to add more sod to the facility on East Orange Avenue. Jeff Lee, city parks and recreation director, said frequent use by pets and owners has left the park in need of improvements.

“It’s in pretty poor condition right now,” Lee said. “We have several maintenance things that  We need to have done over there. The biggest issue we have is the park itself. About half of it is nothing but dirt. Most of the grass that’s left in the park is predominantly weeds. I’d say probably 80% of it is weeds, so if we go in and spray it out, it’s just going to be nothing but dirt.”

Lee said the park will remain open during renovations. Half the park will be closed during improvements while residents use the rest of the facility.

“What we would do is quadrant this park off into four quadrants, do two at a time, so we’d never have to actually close the entire park,” Lee said. “They’d still have the option to use the park. It would stay open the entire time. When we finish one half of it, basically, we’d go across and do the other half.”

Lee said city officials also hope to open a second dog park in the future.

“The long-term plan for next year is to hopefully push up adding another dog park in town,” Lee said. “That way, we would be able to shut down a dog park, renovate it and provide the proper maintenance that we need to do on a regular basis.”

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the Foley Dog Park has been more popular than city officials expected since the facility opened.

“I never anticipated that it would be this popular,” Hellmich said. “It’s being loved to death. It is incredible, but having this plan moving forward, I think we will be better able to maintain it and having a second one should take some pressure off.”

Treatment will include spraying for weeds and adding new grass.

David Thompson, executive director of Leisure Services, said renovations will include tilling the site to allow new sod to grow. .

“It’s compacted so much that if we don’t start back over on the soil, that sod’s not going to do a whole lot of good,” Thompson said.