Opening of Rhinelander dog park sought for sometime in August
Parks Committee backs signage for park
BY KEVIN BONESKE
After brush was moved last weekend from the area where a dog park is being planned at Shepard Park in Rhinelander, those behind the effort to establish the facility in the city are hoping dogs will be able to safely play off-lease there sometime next month.
The project, for which the City Council last month authorized its placement at no additional cost to the city, 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. To give the dog park the financial backing it needs to become reality, the project has received a commitment from Drs. Foster and Smith to help fund the park.
Tina Werres, who has been involved for about 10 years in the effort to build a dog park in the Rhinelander area, was on hand for Monday’s city Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting and discussed permits being sought for the dog park. Committee members received copies of permit applications related to signs, plumbing and fencing.
The committee backed allowing a series of signs, for which the group behind the dog park project would be responsible, such as the signs identifying the areas for the small dogs and large dogs as well as a sign listing the dog park rules.
Werres said 10 benches are also planned to be placed in the dog park, six in the large dog area and four in the small dog area.
Parks Committee chairperson Sherrie Belliveau said the city would provide signs related to the park hours, no smoking, handicapped parking, one-way roadway, entrance and exit.
Though only the signage was explicitly on the agenda for the dog park, the committee also discussed installing a water fountain, for which the cost to run the water would be the responsibility of the dog park. Parks director Jeremy Biolo said a meter could be installed to determine the cost of the water used.
A price quote from American Fence Company that Werres has provided to the city places the cost of installing black chain-link fencing five feet high around the two areas for dogs near Boyce Drive at $18,625.
Belliveau noted Werres has contacted public works director Tim Kingman regarding the setback for the fencing, for which the public works department has asked that the planned fencing perimeter be spray-painted so that the department can take a look at to make sure “all the ducks are in a row on that.”
Werres informed the committee the south end of Shepard Park “is now seeing the light of day for the first time in years” after 30 volunteers showed up there Saturday for a “Call to Action” to move loose underbrush out the dog park area that had been cut by city parks workers.
“Jeremy and his crew were absolutely very helpful, efficient and had it ready when we needed it,” said Werres, who noted volunteers shouldn’t continue to show up on their own to work in the dog park area.
“We had an incident (Monday) where some people showed up and thought they could continue raking and stuff, and apparently Jeremy doesn’t want that, which we didn’t know,” she said.
Werres said the group behind the dog park will continue to move forward and prepare for the park’s opening with the fencing, signage and other amenities.
“We may have to put out another Call for Action…,” she said. “We may need another work day to continue the raking.”
Upon the fencing being installed, Werres said she believes dogs could be playing in the park sometime in August.