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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marinette Parks Continue To Have Dog, Goose Issues

Issue Date: September 12, 2019

Once again "dogs in parks" was the main discussion at the City of Marinette Parks and Recreation Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Alderpersons Wally Hitt and Dave Anderson met with a group of citizens that addressed a number of concerns. The group discussed putting up various signs in the Parks. Some suggestions of signs include, No dogs allowed on beach, No dogs allowed in playground area and All dogs must be on leash. Another suggestion was to increase the dog fee by $5 to help cover the cost of the signs and improvements.

Hitt said, "As a citizen, what can we do for those that are not picking up after their dog? We can make a complaint and go to court, but it needs to be verified. We recommend not to confront people but to get details, license plates, dog description and pictures if you can. Waste cans are available so there really is no excuse for not cleaning up".

Anderson advised he met with Mary Cherry, Animal Control Officer and she said if citizens have pictures or license plate numbers, they can report this and go to court for citations to be issued to offenders.

Alderperson Rick Polzin stated, "Mighty Pet was going to supply more bags. Do you know where that is at?" Anderson replied, "Mighty Pet would donate the boxes but we would need to supply the bags".

Mayor Steve Genisot said, "We can buy the bags but it is still the responsibility of the pet owners as well. It's not an excuse for someone to not clean up if at anytime there weren't bags there".

Alderperson Ken Keller commented, "It is not the City's responsibility to provide bags, it's the responsibility of the owners that should provide their own bags. Signs and raising the dog fees may be jumping the gun. The DNR offered to provide signs at one time for park areas, that is something you might want to explore".

Alderperson Peter Noppenberg said, "We could have one sign that indicates all the rules at the entrance to the park rather than several signs. I think that would be the best way to go". Alderperson At Large, Dorothy Kowalski responded, "It doesn't matter what we do, people are going to do what they want to do anyway".

Genisot responded, "I don't have a problem with signage, but I don't want to inundate the parks and beaches with signs either. People know the rules, and those that are offending are the ones that are not in compliance with the rules".

Kowalski said, "It seems there is not an issue in the smaller parks, there is more issues in the larger parks of Red Arrow, City Park and Stephenson Island".

City Engineer Brian Miller commented, "We need to decide which signs, where they will be put and move on it. Between now and the next meeting, we need to pull it altogether, come back with a plan and implement it".

The next issue in Parks and especially Stephenson Island is Goose poop. Miller said, "The goose feces has been a problem for a long time and continues to be. It is all over on the grass and walkways and is a nuisance for those that want to enjoy the Island or the Parks.

It started in 1999 on Stephenson Island, we used a bad tasting repellent but that didn't stop them, from coming, another deterrent was allowing the grass to grow very tall around the island to attempt to stop them from landing, but they flew over it, a rope barrier was installed and they walked around it. A goose round up/ capture/ euthanize was done with grants with 52 geese captured in 2005 and 23 in 2006, with meat going to the food pantry. After that, the grant program did not continue".

Miller continued, "A lot has changed from that time frame and now with having to test the geese, with the PFAS issue, it would not be an option, if it is even available. They tried many lethal and non-lethal methods and none worked, it's a vicious cycle and they always returned the next year".

"Most recently at Menekaunee Harbor they used dog cut out silhouettes and it didn't affect the geese", Miller added. Kowalski said, "Strobes are currently being tried out at Menekaunee Harbor". Miller replied, "We can put more strobes or do a combination of things along with better cleanup to try to deter them".

Genisot said, "We need to make a better effort of cleaning up, especially during events". Polzin asked, "Is there any kind of equipment to make it faster cleanup time? Superintendent of Public Works Patrick Carlson said, "It takes four to five hours now to clean the Island". Miller stated, if we want more frequent cleaning, it will take more time and effort and Carlson will have to make a request for another sweeper".

Executive Director of Recreation and Events, Gavin Scray, gave an update for the plans to fix and replace park equipment as a result of a tour of the parks the committee took two weeks ago. Scray outlined the time frame of repairs/ replacement based on need with a one to two year plan for items deemed as immediate replacement, three to five years will be put on the radar for those that need repair or replacement but are not an immediate need and six to 10 years for those parks that are not in need of any immediate repairs or replacements. He also recommended not to repair the teeter totters that are bent, missing parts and need painting, but instead remove them due to not being in compliance and not being properly used the way they should be.

Scray added, "We will only need capital funds for entire structure replacements, as an example, redoing a park like Higley Field would cost about $30,000 over and above the playground structure. The rest of the minimal repairs and replacements will be worked into the budget". Kowalski made a recommendation to move forward and put the smaller items into the budget and rely on capital funding for the larger items.

Another major item discussed was limitations of how many tents or campers can be on one site in the City Park Campground. Recently there has been multiple tents on one site with many people all sharing the same site and same electricity. One was setup like a village with one of the tents as a kitchen setting with approximately three or four families together with eight to ten people all on one site paying only $20 per site per day.

City Clerk Lana Bero addressed the committee with what she thought was a reasonable limit of two tents or two families per campsite but pay $20 per tent per night or limit the amount of units on each site. If we allow to have more than one unit per site, then each unit pays the $20 fee. The second tent on the site should be used by kids only with no adults and not another family.

Carlson said, "Another issue we are having is, a family will register and pay for two weeks, then a community service organization, like Saint Vincent DePaul will pay for 14 days and the third two weeks will then be paid for again by another family member, all staying on the same sight for six weeks or longer. My suggestion is whomever is on that sight, they all have to register and not just one person or one service organization".

Polzin asked, "Is it the City's interest to rent the sites or who is using the sites? We don't want to make this a nightmare of who is renting and who is not. Make the regulations two per site with an allowance for a tent".

Kowalski responded, "I would like to see people coming to the community and don't want someone living there all summer so visitors can't come and use the campground".

Scray commented, "The campground is closing the end of September, so we have time to come up with thoughts and plans over the off season and don't need to address it immediately". Kowalski replied, "I think we need to review what works and what doesn't work and get together and discuss".

Action items for the October agenda will include discussion of the status of the Dewer Gym, finalize plans for dogs in parks and an update on the walking track at the Rec Center


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