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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Dog Park Plan Change Gets Committee Okay

Issue Date: March 31, 2021

Dogs and their owners appear to be happy with the T.O.P. Dog Park, which was built in 2017 on city-owned property on Harbor Road in the Town of Peshtigo, but they probably be will be even happier once an additional dog run is completed. Plans are underway to add a second enclosure where small dogs can run and play without having to share the space with larger dogs.

The park, built by T.O.P. Dog Park, Inc. with donated funds on property leased from the City of Peshtigo in 2017 for $1 a year, has become quite popular, Justine Raygo, president of T.O.P. Dog Park, Inc. told Peshtigo City Council's Fire, Lighting and Building Committee at a brief 2-item meeting on Thursday, March 25.

The original lease included layouts for planned development over a 5-year period, starting with site preparation, parking lot, funding drives, and installation of a sign. Any changes require Peshtigo City Council approval.

The second-year was to include the erection of a small dog run, erect signage, place dog waste receptacles, and sell permits. That was done, except the large run was built in 2018 and 2019, not the small one. Year 3 called for continuing fundraising, erecting a large dog run, and adding benches and picnic tables. There was a change late in 2017 to provide for the construction of the large dog run in 2018, with the small run, 2.5 acres, to be built later.

Present at the March 25 meeting were Steve and Cindy Sutek, Jace Hubert, Susan Cota, and Raygo. The only other agenda item was a request to install an overhead light pole on city-owned property by the Cans for Kids collection site behind the Tourist Information Booth on Maple Ave. that is run by Peshtigo Area Chamber of Commerce.

Raygo sought permission to make the second "run" for the dog park half an acre rather than 2.5 acres as originally designed and included in the lease agreement. She said their group has found they do not need quite as much space as they expected, and the new run will be for small dogs. Built to the original size, the cost would be $15,000. Cutting it to half an acre cuts the cost to $8,600, which Raygo said: "makes it much more affordable for us." She also said they found the original triangle plan was not good. The new design is a modified trapezoid/

Alderman Mike Behnke commended the dog park group for taking good care of the park. "I rode by the other day and it looks fabulous," he declared before adding, partly as a pun and partly serious, that the dog park had been a "pet project" for him.

Alderman Rick Berth, who chairs the committee, agreed with Behnke that the park is kept up very well.

Raygo said dogs and their owners come from Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, and Peshtigo to use the enclosed dog run, where large and small dogs can play without being on a leash. One man even drives up daily from Green Bay with his dog.

Behnke then moved to recommend that Council modify the lease agreement to reduce the size of the second dog run from 2.5 acres to .5 of an acre, and the motion was approved without dissent. John Berendt, the third committee member, was on hand as was Mayor Cathi Malke.

The only other item on the agenda was unanimous approval of a motion authorizing Cans for Kids to put up an overhead light pole behind the Tourist Information Booth on Maple Street.

Mary Lock had written a letter to Berth explaining the light was needed to stop vandalism and theft of aluminum cans from the "Cans for Kids" enclosure. Peshtigo Area Chamber of Commerce has agreed to pay for the electricity, and Cans For Kids will provide for putting up the pole and light, including running the wire underground from the Tourist Booth to the pole. They will also take care of all future maintenance.


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