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Council hears dog park update

Sheridan Wilson, local 4-H member leading the charge in creating a dog park in Pequot Lakes, visited the Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to give an update on her efforts.

Fundraising sits at just under $1,000, Wilson said. An area for the park was staked out at Sibley Park. Documents from Wilson show the area of the park is 6,350 square feet.

Some council members were concerned that would be too small and recommended exploring other site possibilities as well as the Sibley Park option.

One location suggested by the council is the area behind the city’s water plant, which city staff already mows. Wilson said she’d considered that location but was concerned that some of the smaller trees growing there might not make it.

Other locations were also suggested, and Wilson said she’d look into those options. The council tabled any action on the dog park so Wilson and the parks and recreation committee could explore other locations.

In other business Nov. 5, the council:

• Approved a contract for police services with the city of Jenkins in the same amount as last year.

• Heard a request from the wellness committee to improve the city’s wellness program for its staff. The committee is exploring the possibility of offering time off in exchange for points earned through healthy lifestyle choices. The committee is still working out the details. The council requested information on the cost of the program if every participant received maximum rewards (time off) for their points earned.

• Approved an increase in benefits to the fire department. The increase shows no cost to the city and results from return on investments made by the fire department’s relief association.

• Learned the new fire truck will arrive in May or June of 2014.

• Passed a loitering ordinance. Police Chief Eric Klang said the ordinance will allow officers to cite loiterers who don’t respond to verbal warnings from police. He said there are loitering issues with young adults hanging out in parking lots and some panhandling in town, and the ordinance would be “another tool in the toolbox” to address issues that come up periodically.

• Appointed council member Tyler Gardner to look into streetscape opportunities for changes that will be made to North Washington Street.

• Approved a request for proposals for legal services for the city.