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$500 a year fee for 'dangerous dogs'

Detroit Lakes Mayor Larry Buboltz was not present for Tuesday night's City Council meeting -- but he had a good reason.

Vice Mayor Matt Brenk, who presided over the meeting in Buboltz's absence, announced at the beginning of the proceedings that Buboltz was undergoing heart surgery early today.

Surgery had been planned because of blockages, but was done a few days earlier than planned, apparently because of concerns about aneurysms.

At Tuesday's meeting, the council accepted the resignation of Jarrod Christen as supervisor of the city's water/wastewater department, effective Oct. 31. Christen is planning to retire after 33 years with the city's public utilities department.

The council also gave its first reading Tuesday night to a proposed ordinance that will, once approved, require owners of dangerous (or even potentially dangerous) dogs to register their pet with the city.

According to the proposed ordinance, "any dog inside the Detroit Lakes city limits" may be designated as a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog if they meet a set of criteria that includes a propensity toward unprovoked biting, chasing, attack or injury of a human or another domestic animal.

Once a dog has been designated as potentially dangerous or dangerous, the owner would, under the proposed ordinance, be required to implant an identifying microchip containing the owner's contact information. In addition, they would be required to provide proof of liability insurance and pay a yearly registration fee ($200 for a potentially dangerous dog, $500 for a dog designated as dangerous). The registration fee would be renewable on an annual basis. Dangerous dogs would also be required to be sterilized and have up-to-date vaccinations.

The first reading of the proposed ordinance was approved with minimal discussion at Tuesday's council meeting; a second reading will be required before it becomes law.

Another proposed new ordinance was given its second reading and approval by the council.

It is now prohibited for any watercraft, aircraft or non-motorized vehicles to remain parked or moored on the Detroit Lakes City Beach for more than 24 hours consecutively.

In other business, the council:

n Set a special city council meeting for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, for the purpose of giving further consideration to the proposed retaining wall at River Hills RV Park, and "determining if the proposed retaining wall... is a substantial change to the project (EAW) and, if so, whether the change has the potential for a significant environmental impact.

Set a public hearing for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, to discuss the proposed street improvements on North Washington Avenue, with an estimated total cost of $101,000.

n Approved the appointments of Walt Tollefson (as city council representative) and Mitch Wimmer to the Public Utilities Commission, effective immediately.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454