The Tellico Village Property Owners Board of Directors during its Feb. 5 meeting officially relocated the Rover Run Dog Park near the Tugaloo Pavilion.

Board members Pat White and Sue English-Kovar motioned and seconded, respectively, to approve the lease and a physical description of the property attached. The vote passed 6-0, with board member Steve Schneider absent.

“It’s a 20-year lease with a nominal rent,” Kevin Stevens, POA board attorney, said. “The tract itself is 1.359 acres. The lease allows the POA to terminate at any time for convenience prior to the conclusion of the 20-year lease term by one year’s notice. In the event the POA terminates the lease prior to the natural expiration of the lease, the POA will reimburse the dog park group for up to $10,000 in documented expenses for improvement of the property.”

There is no automatic renewal, he said.

“This has been a very contentious negotiation selection, the whole process, but all during this process the people of Rover Run Dog Park, the people on the POA board, the POA staff have all worked together and overcome those differences to come to this consensus agreement, and good things happen from all of this effort that’s gone on,” White said.

Bruce Dillingham, Rover Run Dog Park vice president, was happy with the board’s decision. He hopes to have the property open by the end of March.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work up to this one,” Dillingham said. “Finding a location, that’s been the issue we’ve been working on for a year getting a location.”

With the lease in place, focus moves to working with the POA on clearing the property.

Some trees will be left as a buffer from Highway 444, Rick Blough, POA board president, said.

“They’ll help us clear it all out. Then we got to get a fence put up,” Dillingham said, adding the park will benefit being centrally located. “... It’s good terrain, it’s not just flat field. I mean it’s got shade already, it’s got interesting terrain for the dogs.”

Dealing with threat

Board members also announced they have put together a four-person committee to look into how the POA can give its input on Asian carp, which are devastating water ecosystems throughout the state and making their way to Loudon County. The committee is comprised of board members White, English-Kovar, Marty Inkrott and Carla Johnson.

The board in January listened to a presentation by Timothy Joseph, an expert on the matter.

“The board has discussed what we ought to do, and we actually decided that it will be taken up as a board goal as we finalize our goals and we should have those done in probably rolled out within the next couple of weeks,” Blough said. “But Asian carp will be on that agenda. The board this morning actually decided to form a board committee to formulate a work plan to, No. 1, better understand what the issue is, No. 2, figure out what every other agency is doing about it, and No. 3, to formulate and recommend to the board what our position on this is.”

Blough said the committee has been tasked to come up with a work plan to present to the board at the next meeting.

“What we would have is the voice of 8,500 people,” he said. “Now that doesn’t give us any authority. That gives us the voice of 8,500 people to try to make sure that the other folks that we’re going to try to identify in this process actually are listening and are thinking of doing something. We certainly don’t want to get into a position where we have an infestation of Asian carp.”