by Dennis Dalman
The woofs have it. By a vote of 3-2, the Sartell City Council at its July 8 meeting approved a seven-acre dog park for Pinecone Central Park.
Mayor Joe Perske and council member David Peterson voted “no,” not because they are opposed to a dog park, but both said they are concerned about parking problems in that part of the park and because a dog park might perhaps be a better fit in some other available park.
Council members Amy Braig-Lindstrom, Steve Hennes and Sarah Jane Nicoll all expressed positive support for a dog park within Pinecone Central Park.
The plan also received unanimous support from the Sartell Park Commission in late June.
Currently, the Dog Park Action Committee is trying to raise $150,000 for dog-park fencing and for other amenities that could include water stations, a shelter and a dog-agility course with equipment. Fencing, DogPAC members noted, will not have sharp square corners, something that can lead to aggression by dogs who feel “trapped” or “threatened” in corners.
The park will have separate areas for larger dogs and smaller dogs and plenty of room for romping and interactions among pets, owners and other visitors. There will also be on-leash and off-leash areas for dogs. Dog and people etiquette rules will be posted.
Last March, the city council endorsed the idea of a dog park in the city. Sartell Planning and Development Director Anita Rasmussen spearheaded an attempt to get interested people together to come up with ideas and plans. Remarkably quickly, an exploratory group was formed and began to research every aspect of dog parks, including checking out current dog parks far and wide.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the dog park or who has ideas or suggestions should go the the following site: facebook.com/SartellDogPac. Or contact Anita Rasmussen at 258-7306 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call Sherry Thien at 492-0956 or email@example.com.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.