by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell City Council will soon decide whether to authorize plans for a dog park in Pinecone Central Park.
At the council’s last meeting, members received an update from Mark Dockery, one of the members of the Dog Park Action Committee. The committee has been working for a few months to come up with a feasible plan for a dog park.
The park would be a fenced-in area with water station, a trail and other amenities for dog owners and those who don’t own dogs but enjoy watching them play. Currently, the committee is requesting a 7.5-acre site, which would include areas for both big dogs and smaller dogs. The committee’s goal is to raise $150,000 to develop the park. Fundraisers are being established, and grants are being sought, Dockery noted. The committee is also considering whether it’s possible, at a later phase, to incorporate a current large pond into the dog-park site.
Dockery said there is a definite need for a dog park as pets become more popular all the time locally and nationally. There are more households nationwide currently with dogs than with children, he noted, with 43 million dog-households and 38 million children-households.
The council members expressed enthusiasm for the dog park, an idea they have always endorsed from the beginning. However, several of them took issue with the inclusion of the pond at the site. That pond, council member Steve Hennes said, might be an ideal swimming pond with a beach because it’s spring-fed. Council member Sarah Jane Nicoll also questioned the need for such a large site (7.5 acres). Council member Amy Braig-Lindstrom said a large site would be ideal for what the organizers want to create — plenty of room for dogs to roam and run, dog-agility courses and dog-training courses.
The council will revisit the dog-park issue at its next meeting.