by Dennis Dalman – email@example.com
Come early summer, Fido and Fifi just might be yip-yip-yipping for joy when they discover they have their very own park in Sartell.
The Sartell City Council has as one of its goals for this year the construction of a dog park within Pinecone Central Park in Sartell.
But, first things first, Sartell residents are needed to serve on a Dog Park Committee. There is no limit to the number of people who can serve on the committee. Its members will come up with what kinds of amenities should be within the park, as well as fundraising plans to make those amenities happen. Anyone interested should contact the Sartell Planning Department at 320-258-7306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. People may also just show up for a public meeting slated for 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 at Sartell City Hall.
At its March 11 meeting, the Sartell City Council endorsed the idea for a dog park. Council members agreed it’s possible the city could chip in as much as $10,000 to get the project started. There are hopes that committee members will come up with ideas for raising funds, possibly with the help of establishing a fund with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation or the Central Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
A dog park is a safe, bounded area where dogs and their owners can exercise and play together in a beautiful natural settting. The one in Sartell, for instance, could be a fenced-in area with benches, walking trails, a water source, waste-disposal stations and a landscape that could include lots of grass, bushes, trees and – who knows? – maybe even a look-alike fire hydrant or two.
The specific amenities of the Pinecone Central Dog Park will be considered by the members of the Dog Park Committee. The committee will also decide which rules of behavior for both pets and people should govern the park and which rules should be clearly posted for the benefit of all.
The city’s park commission, planning director and public-works director will serve as sounding boards for fundraising efforts and act as facilitators in the review of plans and moving those plans through the review process.
A tentative time frame has been established by Sartell Developer and Planner Anita Rasmussen. Committee members’ ideas would be reviewed by the planning commission in late April. The council would consider those ideas in early May. The actual park could be constructed sometime in May or June, if city expenditures (up to $10,000) are within budget. Private fundraising could quicken the initial construction and add amenities throughout the summer and in future years as raised funds become available.