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Pequot Lakes explores idea of dog park at Sibley Lake Park

The Pequot Lakes City Council is considering construction of a dog park at Sibley Lake Park. Pequot Lakes ninth-grader Sheridan Wilson, an independent 4-H club member, is working to raise funds to build the dog park with a proposed 5-foot high fence to keep the dogs contained.

The council tabled any action Tuesday, Aug. 6, until it sees a plan showing the exact area where the dog park would be, as well as details such as a mission and definition of a dog park.

In other park news, the council agreed to use approximately $3,000 of park dedication funds to start developing Mayo Lake Park Preserve, a rustic 68-acre park near Mayo Lake in Loon Lake Township and Pequot Lakes.

Plans include a small parking area, installation of identification signs and park rule signs, expansion of existing trails and placement of garbage cans, picnic tables and benches.

City staff members are working with the Minnesota Land Trust to get approval to develop the park. The land trust has authorized the building of a gravel parking lot and installation of signs.

The land is protected with a conservation easement the land trust holds. The conservation easement permanently preserves the natural, scenic and open space qualities of the property.

Public safety

The council adopted a loan resolution security agreement for a $350,000 loan for a new fire truck.

In June, firefighters had four calls: two to Pequot Lakes and one each to Pelican Township and Breezy Point. Calls were two good intent fire alarms, one good intent golf cart fire and one good intent fire alarm canceled enroute.

In July, firefighters had three calls, all in Pequot Lakes. Calls were good intent brush fire canceled, one good intent gas line cut and one gas line cut.

The council accepted an agreement to provide a school resource officer for Pequot Lakes School during the upcoming school year. Pequot Lakes police officer Chad Nangle will return to the school, with the school district paying $3,333 per month from Sept. 1, 2013-May 31, 2014.

The council also accepted an animal control contract with Don Hannahs Jr. for Pequot Lakes and Jenkins Township at $239.25 a month based on population, plus mileage. The council doesn’t like the cost but doesn’t have an alternative.

Police chief Eric Klang said the city in 2012 took 74 animal calls in reference to dog bites and dogs at large. It wasn’t known how many incidents Hannahs handled.

In other business Aug. 6, the council:

• Learned sidewalk improvements are nearly complete.

• Agreed to start looking at issues surrounding the turnback of Highway 371 to the city when the four-lane highway is built east of town. The city needs a committee of several planning and zoning commission members and the city planner to determine what the city wants the corridor to look like, as well as the cost to maintain the road and associated costs.

• Learned that state House Capital Investment Committee tours of state projects will start, and that committee requested the city make a presentation on its request for funding to relocate spray irrigation equipment related to the Highway 371 expansion project. The presentation is Sept. 17 at Central Lakes College.

• Approved an application to allow lawful gambling by the Breezy Point Figure Skating Club at Lucky’s Tavern.

• Looked at a street concept plan for North Washington Street provided by the city engineer, Tim Houle of Widseth Smith Nolting.

• Agreed to install two portable toilets through summer, one at the north end of Trailside Park and one outside Jack Pine Center and “see how much business they get.”

• Approved updated job descriptions for three positions: city clerk, utility billing clerk and zoning administrator/administrative assistant. The council also approved a salary increase ($2.76 per hour) for the clerk/treasurer (Sandy Peine) effective Aug. 5.

• Accepted Tommy Woog’s resignation from the Economic Development Commission.

• Discussed the merit of buying the Buschmann property across the street from the library. The property is listed at $30,000. The planning commission will study the possibility.