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New W’bago dog park coming soon

By Staff | Aug 19, 2018

At last Monday’s Winnebago City Council meeting, the council passed a motion to convert the city’s softball field, located at the West City Park, into a dog park.

City councilman Paul Eisenmenger, who also helped form a local dog park committee a few weeks ago, discussed why he feels it is time for the city to add a dog park to the neighborhood.

“Dog parks are becoming a social gathering place, almost as popular as a coffee shop,” Eisenmenger said at the meeting. “I’ve brought it up to others in the community and interest has grown over the last year or so. We all share the same interest to allow our pets to run free and socialize with other dogs, while also allowing community members to interact with one another.”

According to Eisenmenger, the dog park committee believes the softball field serves as an ideal location for the new dog park due to the very large area. Additionally, much of the softball field already has grass established, except for parts of the infield. Eisenmenger also noted nearby water and electricity, as well as an abundance of parking spots in close proximity to the park.

The council held a lengthy discussion regarding the repercussions of eliminating the field’s ability to host youth sporting events. However, city administrator Chris Ziegler indicated scheduling conflicts are a rare occurrence as the Winnebago Community Field, located just off of Highway 169, is the primary location for most of the city’s organized youth baseball games.

No timetable was given for completion of the dog park. Meanwhile, city councilman Scott Robertson weighed in with his perspective.

“In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was a lot of baseball being played in town, but I think that ship has sailed,” Robertson added. “I think we can make better use of that field now.”

Also at the meeting, Chris Cyphers from B and B Sanitation informed the council he received a 60 percent cost increase earlier this month to dispose of recycled material. According to Cyphers, the cost increase has been due to international trade discrepancies between the United States and China.

While the current recycling fee stands at $3.25 per household per month, the council passed a motion in a 3-1 vote to raise the cost per household to $4.50 per month. Councilman Rick Johnson opposed the motion.

Other items from the meeting included:

An outdoor recreation grant of up to $60,500 for construction projects to be performed on the West City Park was approved by the council.

Resolutions were passed by the council to order the nuisance abatements of several properties in the area. The council also passed a motion to request the purchase of several tax forfeited properties from the county.

Donations in the amount of $950 to the Winnebago Swimming Pool from area businesses were accepted by the council. The donations were made in celebration of the pool’s 50th anniversary.

A request for the purchase of three new portable radios for full-time officers of the Winnebago Police Department was approved by the council. The total cost of the new equipment will be $3,089.44.

The council carried a motion to revise ambulance billing fees, and also approved a one-time request by the firefighter association for the purchase of a new trailer.

A traffic and zoning complaint against Ron’s Trenching, located at 530 Second Avenue SE was heard by the council. However, no action was taken on the matter.