ST. JOSEPH -- Part of Millstream Park in St. Joseph has officially gone to the dogs as the city's first dog park opened Monday night.

The first phase is a large open area, designed for large dogs but with no restrictions on small ones. City Administrator Judy Weyrens says for now it will be a very basic park.

"There's a picnic table out there with a covering on it I believe, and some trees. It's just very open right now."

They'd like to add both a small water-source and a separate fenced in area for smaller dogs. Along with a basic gazebo-like shelter. 

She adds, the total cost for the park came in cheaper than the city originally thought it would be.

"It came in lower, they re-evaluated the fence, and looked at how they could make the fencing work better, so they changed the fencing a bit. They also had some more people come forward with more financial support, so it really worked out well for us."

The final total came in around $13,000 about $2,000 less than planned. The community itself raised $5,000 and the city helped pay for the rest of the project. The city is holding off on phases two and three for now, to see how popular the first phase is.

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