Council backs locating dog park at Shepard Park
Plan contingent upon reaching agreement with Petco
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A location to place a dog park in Rhinelander received approval Monday by the City Council.
On a voice vote without any dissenters, council members favored allocating a portion of Shepard Park as a dog park at no additional cost to the city.
“Petco, welcome to Rhinelander,” Mayor Dick Johns said in reference to the company that acquired Drs. Foster and Smith and has pledged financial backing for a dog park to be placed in the city.
City Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee chairperson Sherrie Belliveau said the dog park project is pending an agreement being finalized between Petco and the city.
City attorney Carrie Miljevich said issues such as maintenance of the dog park need to be spelled out in an agreement before the project could proceed.
Tina Werres, who has been involved for around 10 years in the effort to build a dog park in the Rhinelander area, appeared at Monday’s council meeting with representatives from Drs. Foster and Smith in support of the project, which would initially involve putting up two fenced areas in Shepard Park near Boyce Drive to separate the large and small dogs allowed in those areas without a leash.
Werres said she would want to get the dog park area ready, such as with the removal of brush, to be able to install the fencing. A price quote from American Fence Company that Werres provided to the city places the cost of installing a black chain-link fencing five feet high around the two areas for dogs near Boyce Drive at $18,625.
City parks director Jeremy Biolo said he favored having the parks department handle the brush cutting so that the public wouldn’t be around during that time.
“With the two guys that we’ve hired now (as workers for the parks department), they both are chain saw capable and they can do a pretty quick job (of clearing brush),” Biolo said.
Werres said fencing 12 feet off of Boyce Drive is intended to be placed right where the woods is located.
Supporters of the dog park present at Monday’s meeting applauded following the council’s vote authorizing the project to be located at Shepard Park.
“Tina, you finally made it,” Johns said.
The council’s vote was the second time this year locating a dog park at one of the city’s parks had been up for consideration. Council member rejected a proposal in February on a 5-3 vote to locate a dog park on the south end of Pioneer Park amid concerns about having a dog park in close proximity to city residents and negatively affecting Pioneer Park.