What’s next for Coronado Park?

What’s next for Coronado Park?

The Wells Park Neighborhood Association president says the dog park has never been an issue.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Wells Park Neighborhood Association president says the dog park has never been an issue. She feels like the city made this decision without checking in with the community.

“Director of Parks and Rec. Dave Simon has told me in the past that he is not in the business of closing parks yet here we are. I really don’t know who started this conversation about why, suddenly, they feel the need to try and close this park and sell it,” said Doreen McKnight, president of Wells Park Neighborhood Association.

The City of Albuquerque is trying to put the Coronado Dog Park up for sale.

This Wednesday, the city council plans to vote on declaring the park not essential for municipal purposes. Once it’s declared not essential, it can be sold for $975,000.

“When it came to Coronado Park being closed, the neighborhood had a lot of strong feelings about that, because we have very little public green space. But we thought, you know, in a new training center and firehouse was a good idea. But they promised us that the dog park would not be touched, it wasn’t part of the deal,” McKnight said. 

McKnight says the first they heard of making changes to the park was in a meeting with City Councilor Joaquin Baca last week, but it didn’t seem like the sale was on the table.

“Our understanding has always been that the city was able to get all the funding provided to develop the new park at the community center, and it was never contingent on selling any other property or closing this dog park. It’s really unfortunate that they’ve decided to do this kind of behind closed doors and not talk to the community at all,” said McKnight. 

The city says it’s in the process of creating new dog parks at Santa Barbara-Martineztown Park and Wells Park, so the community has the same amenities but in more residential areas.

They go on to say any the sale will allow the city to explore other uses for the park. They also said the funds from the sale will be re-invested in other parks in the area. 

KOB 4 got the statement from the city after our interview with McKnight, and she believes it’s an attempt from the city to recoup costs associated with building out other parks in the area by selling Coronado Dog Park.

She went on to say if the city is going to sell it for almost $1 million, they should give the Wells Park community back the $25,000 that went towards the purchase of the other park.