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BE Council discusses dogs at Steinberg Park

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Feb 21, 2021

The issue of dogs running loose in Blue Earth once again came up at a City Council meeting.

This time, at last Monday night’s work session held before the regular meeting, the issue was dogs in Steinberg Park.

City councilman Glenn Gaylord asked that the topic be added to the work session agenda, as he had been hearing reports of issues with dogs not on leashes at the park, and dog owners not cleaning up after their animals.

“And that is not the only problem,” Gaylord reported. “One lady said she and her small dog were chased back to her car by a large dog, a German shepherd, that was not on a leash.”

He said the woman recognized the dog and owner and reported it to the police, but Gaylord does not think anything was done about it.

“She was not happy with the police. I believe there was no citation issued, and that is not right,” Gaylord said. “I want our citizens to be safe, in town and at Steinberg Park, too.”

Gaylord said he sees three possible solutions. One, do nothing, two, encourage the police to issue citations and three, ban dogs from the park.

“I really don’t want to do that (ban dogs from Steinberg Park),” Gaylord said. “But we need to have owners responsible for their animals.

Other councilmembers agreed, but the question was asked if the police can issue a ticket if they do not actually see the incident.

In the end the council agreed to have staff, including the city administrator, city attorney and chief of police, look into developing a policy for all city parks.

The other part of the work session was an annual report from the Blue Earth Community Library.

Library director Eva Gaydon reported that use of the library was down in 2020, due mainly to COVID and the fact the library was shut down for a while.

Still, she reported that 15,875 books and magazines were borrowed, 2,491 eBooks and eAudios, 3,116 DVDs, 864 CDs, 7,027 WiFi sessions and 1,636 patron computer use.

“We had a lot of pickups of items even when we were closed,” Gaydon explained. “And I did delivery of books and other items.”

In other action at Tuesday’s meeting, the council also:

• Discussed a report from a tennis court subcommittee concerning the need to do something with the current tennis courts located in Putnam Park. The courts will need to be totally rebuilt after the 2021 season.

The discussion was whether to keep the courts where they are, move them to somewhere else such as near the high school, and whether to stay in partnership with the school on ownership and maintenance of the courts.

No decisions were made.

• Voted to proceed with a grant application for funding for a future street project on Giant Drive and Fairview streets, and another project on 17th and Rice streets.

The estimated cost of the Giant Drive and Fairview Street project is $720,000 and for the 17th and Rice streets it is $1.4 million.

• Appointed city council member Wendy Cole to the Economic Development Authority board as the council liason.

• Approved a Fire Relief Association Raffle Permit, a Bingo application from the Chamber of Commerce and a gambling permit for the American Legion to have pull tabs at Average Jo’s (formerly Double Play).

• Approved a proposal for concrete work at the Blue Earth Community Airport. The city’s share of the $100,982 project is $5,049.