Park Board assessing regulations

Thursday, January 10, 2019

During the recent Spencer Parks Board meeting, the board approved what will become the posted rules for the DeWolf Dog Park. Work on the park’s fencing is scheduled to begin this month and completed in March. The park’s rules are separated into three categories being: general, people and dog rules. Of the three, the most notable rules include the park being open from dawn to dusk and closed during inclement weather, children under 16 are not permitted unless accompanied by an adult (the rule states “bringing small children and infants into the dog park is not recommended”), dogs must be current on vaccinations and parasite control; and “dogs must be removed at the first sign of aggression.”

“It may make sense we don’t make it into an ordinance form yet,” Bredehoeft said. “Maybe we want to work with it this summer and see if there are any issues that come up, then we can come back and make those changes.”

The board and Bredehoeft also discussed a new initiative between the park board and the Spencer Police Department which seeks to clarify rules regarding area ponds like Stolley Pond and Pete’s Pond.

“The police get calls and we get calls and there’s nothing that really speaks to whether you can ice fish,” Bredehoeft said. “People ask if they can kayak on it, right now the ruling basically states it has to be a canoe 16 feet or less, anything other than that they don’t allow. Back when we did that was, I think 1990, kayaks weren’t a thing at that point in time. The police chief would like to get it so it’s clear, so the community understands it and we understand it.”

The board also discussed a need to clarify open and close times for the ponds, with board member Mark Lawson explaining discretion has previously been used to allow activities like night fishing to occur.

“You have people fishing at midnight, fishing for cats (catfish),” Lawson said. “Now if there’s a couple 16-year-olds — a boy and a girl — well, you’re not out there fishing.”

Bredehoeft said the board would discuss the issue further in the future with additional input from the Spencer Police Department.

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