It was a night when the Minocqua Town Board went to the dogs – in a good way. Dog matters – including a request to open a daytime, and possibly overnight, boarding facility for dogs as well as approval of a legal agreement between the police department’s K9 officer and the town – took up most of the board’s agenda Tuesday.
The board will forward its recommendation to Oneida County that it approve a conditional use permit requested by the Donald Sedlak Trust to open a pet day care center in the former Lakeland Sign building, 9587 Clawson Drive. Supervisors also set some conditions: a solid wood fence around the outside run areas, and the ability of the town to require further noise abatement measures if barking dogs become a problem.
“My biggest concern is the potential for noise,” said Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim. “I figured that we would probably have to do wood fencing,” replied Dick Sedlak, about shielding dogs from outside activity that would catch their attention. “
They see certain things and they might start barking and getting rambunctious. We’ll do wood fencing in the back and in the front there. All that little stuff will help. There will be someone there. This is a controlled environment for the dogs.” “I’m not sure if you put up some type of screen that will resolve it,” Hartzheim said later. He then suggested adding language in the CUP recommendation to require further remediation measures if barking becomes a nuisance for neighbors. Sedlak said an attendant would be at the facility at all time, and any dog barking outside would be brought inside. The board also wants the county to ensure the facility meets all county and state regulations and that the property encompasses at least one acre in size. The facility, which will be remodeled, will offer dog grooming, pet training, retail pet product sales, along with a physical rehabilitation area and pool for recovering dogs. There will be outdoor play areas and runs for the animals. “These are not going to be cages inside,” Sedlak said. “These are going to be suites with TVs inside. It’s going to be top notch. If there are dogs overnight, there will be someone there overnight. We are putting a room in there for that reason.”
Wilderness Surveying owner Jim Rein, representing the applicant, said the facility would have an average occupancy of 20 animals. While most would be daytime boardings, some animals could be overnight stays, if he can convince the county to allow it. The town supervisors did agree with Rein that amount of acreage – five acres -- required by county zoning ordinance for a kennel facility is unreasonable. Rein said there would be no breeding or sale of animals there.
Director of Public Works Mark Pertile had concerns at the plan commission about what he thought was inadequate square footage of outdoor runs. That space was doubled to 14,400 square feet by the time the CUP application reached the town board, which was satisfied with it. The commission also had concerns about whether the Lakeland Sanitary District would allow animal waste into its waste treatment system. Rein said all dog waste would be bagged and placed in Dumpsters for off-site disposal.
In an unrelated action, the board approved a legal agreement to be signed by the new K9 officer, the town chairman and Police Chief David Jaeger. Hartzheim had pulled the proposed agreement off last month’s board agenda, saying he wanted some language clarified. The agreement says, “All vehicles, supplies, monetary contributions, including donations of items are the property of the Town of Minocqua. The canine selected is the property of the town and shall remain the property of the town unless released by the town as provided through this agreement and Minocqua Police Department policy.” The K9 officer will receive one hour pay each day for taking care of the dog at his home.
The document also outlines the condition in which the K9 officer can purchase the dog before its “service life” is completed. The current K9 officer has the first option to buy the dog from the town in the event the K9 program is discontinued or if the officer leaves the department for a job with another law enforcement agency. It sets a sliding scale of buyout from $8,000 during the first year of the agreement, down to $1,000 in the fifth and subsequent years of the agreement.
In other actions, the board agreed to: · Allow the public works department to purchase a Ford 250 pickup truck from Marston Motors, Minocqua, at a cost of $29,900. It’s about $400 more than a state bid from Ewald Motors, but it would cost that much to have it delivered to Minocqua. · Grant a picnic license for the Lakeland Area Mountain Biking Organization (LAMBO) for their “Rip, Zip & Sip” fundraiser at Northwoods Zip Line on March 4. · Appoint Stephanie Wotachek to the library board. · Amend the town’s ordinance on nighttime and long-term parking to allow overnight parking in six stalls in the municipal parking lot just east of the Community Center.