Animal Regulations Up for More Discussion

The City Council will devote the first hour of its monthly work session on Monday, June 26 (6:00 to 7:00 PM) to discussion of local ordinances pertaining to animals in City parks and at special events.

The Council’s May work session included a discussion of possibly prohibiting animals at major downtown special events, like the Cool City Classic Car Show and Ethnic Festival.

It was the consensus of the City Council at that meeting that, IF any such a prohibition were to be adopted, it should not happen this year, as we were right on the cusp of the Spring/Summer festival season.  More time would be needed to “get the word out” about any new regulations.

The City Council and I also have come to realize that the topic of pets (particularly dogs) in parks and other public spaces is a hot topic, not just in TR but in other cities.

Before engaging in this discussion, it’s a good idea to understand the current state of the law in Two Rivers.

When it comes to animals on city parks and public grounds, there is already a longstanding prohibition against any “horse, dog, cat or other domesticated animal” being allowed on any City owned property or park (Ordinance 7-1-1, General Park Regulations).

That ordinance does provide that dogs, on leashes not exceeding six feet in length, are permitted on recreational trails within city parks and other city properties that are designated by City Council resolution.

The most recent resolution on this topic (from 2004) allows dogs on Mariners Trail, Rawley Point Trail, the asphalt trail along Zlatnik Drive at Neshotah Park, all trails at Washington Park and the Eggers Riverwalk along the West Twin River.

There is also prohibition specific to dogs and cats in Section 6-5-9 of City Ordinances (“Licenses”), banning them from any “school ground, public playground, public beach area, other public grounds or cemetery.”  That ordinance does exempt “seeing eye dogs”—a term that should probably be modified to read “service dogs.”

For my part, I will be recommending to City Council on Monday that areas where leashed dogs are allowed should be expanded, to include turf areas within six feet of trails and sidewalks running though City parks and other public properties, to include all of the new Harbor Park, Central Park in downtown TR, and the lakefront SOUTH OF the groomed beach at Neshotah.

I will not be recommending any change to the prohibition on dogs on the beach at Neshotah—certainly not during the summer season.  In fact, that is the area where my office receives the most complaints about people taking their dogs—despite ample signage stating that dogs are prohibited.

Overall, I believe that there are some reasonable changes that can be made to make TR’s parks and public space more “dog friendly,” while still recognizing that there are places where many residents do not want to encounter dogs—like in the middle of a crowded beach on a hot summer day.

Absent any changes in our local ordinances, please understand that those ordinances will be enforced—to the extent that there are enforcement resources available.

Again, if you are interested in this topic, I encourage you to attend next Monday’s meeting.  Or feel free to e-mail my office or your City Council members.

Lot of Reasons to Come to Downtown TR This Week

‘Just a reminder of Sundae Thursday, this Thursday night from 5:30 to 8:00 PM in Central Park.

We’ll celebrate Two Rivers’ status as Birthplace of the Ice Cream Sundae with kid’s activities, 25-cent sundaes and special entertainment.  Sponsored by Schroeders Department Store, with ice cream by Kemps.

Friday night, the Cool City Classic Car Cruise motors north along the lakefront from Manitowoc to TR, starting at 6:00 PM.  The cruise ends up in downtown on Washington Street, for an evening of music, food and drink that wraps up at 9:00 PM.

Saturday, it’s the Cool City Classic Car Show, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM up and down the length of Washington Street.  More classic chrome, food and festivities, organized by Two Rivers Main Street and brought to you by several great sponsors.

‘See you downtown!

Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley can be contacted by calling 920-793-5532 or by e-mailing gbuckley@two-rivers.org.

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