Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
If they build it, will you come?
June 8, 2009

Delano explores creation of dog park

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – Dog owners in Delano may have a place for their pets to roam leash-free, if a dog park is approved for the three acres across the street from Central Park.

“A dog park would fit in there perfectly,” said Luke Fischer, assistant to the city administrator. The land is out of the way and wouldn’t interfere with residences, he explained.

At the Delano city council meeting Tuesday, the council decided to table the issue until public feedback could be received.

In the proposed dog park, a four-foot fence would keep dogs contained while allowing them to run.

“It would give residents an opportunity to give the dogs exercise,” Fischer said. “It’s a good idea because it’s a different recreational opportunity.”

The estimated cost of the park is between $10,000 and $11,000, and includes fencing, dumpsters for trash and feces removal, shovels for clean up, signage and collars.

The money to pay for the park would come from increased dog licensing fees, Fischer said. The cost could be recouped in three to five years, he estimated.

The current licensing fee is $5 for fixed dogs and $8 for natural dogs. Under the proposal, the fee for fixed dogs that use the park would be $25. Non-user fixed dogs would be $15, and natural dogs would be $25. Natural dogs would not be allowed to use the park.

In 2008, the City of Delano licensed about 100 dogs. Fischer said he hopes the dog park would provide incentive for more people to get a license.

A special collar would identify dogs that have access to the park.

Several cities in the metro area have already implemented dog parks, including Bloomington, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, and others.

“When we talked to other cities, they reported that their dog parks are wildly successful and are used year-round,” Fischer said.

According to the revised park proposal, most of the cities “strongly encouraged” Delano to add a dog park to its system.

“The idea of a dog park is kind of a newer concept,” Fischer added. “They’re sprouting up more and more quickly.”

The city council considered a dog park at the February, April, May, and June meetings.

The original proposal included four acres of space and a six-foot fence, at an additional cost of $4,000.

The City of Delano is encouraging residents to voice their opinions about the proposed dog park.

“I hope people all call and tell the city council what they think,” Fischer said. The city phone number is (763) 972-0550. People can also e-mail their comments and questions to dogpark@delano.mn.us.


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