Council to look at options for new park

By Chad Koenen


Several residents who live in the Hidden Trails Park area raised concerns last week about a proposed dog park in the area.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night, the city council heard a variety of concerns about the proposed park including an increase in traffic and safety for residents in the area should a dog not be left on a leash or get out of the play area.

Jean Wallgren, who lives near the proposed park, said her main concern was in regards to safety due to narrow streets near Hidden Trails. She also said she was concerned about an increase in dogs who may not be familiar with children and the safety for children who primarily use the park should a dog not be on a leash and get out of the fenced in area. 

Another neighbor to the park also said there are several young children in the area and echoed many of Wallgren’s concerns about the new park. While she liked the idea of a dog park, she wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit in the Hidden Acres area. She suggested the city look near the outskirts of the city limits like the City of Perham did for its dog park.

NY Mills Mayor Marsha Maki said the idea of a dog park has been discussed for quite some time and several locations were discussed for the new park. 

Councilmember Jerry Nesland said the park board looked at the South Point property for a new dog park, but the cost of developing the area for a new dog park, especially considering the property has yet to be fully developed and planned, made the Hidden Acres park are the most ideal location for the new dog park.

Both Maki and Nesland said the funding for the project will be done through fundraisers and city funds will not be used to develop the dog park. They also said the park board will take the concerns raised last week and bring them to the park board for further discussion.

In other news

• Heard the monthly report from Mills Liquors. The combined gross sales for the month were up 8 percent from last year, but net revenues for the month were down 5 percent as a percentage of sales from the prior year. 

• Heard the fire department responded to 19 calls in July, a majority of which were either rural or city rescue calls. 

• Heard the police report, which included 161 calls for service, six citations and one arrest. The police department is still waiting on its new 2022 squad car to arrive and is hoping to have the garage door repaired after it quit working in the near future. 

• Approved the hiring of Todd Lorenz, of NY Mills, to fill the Public Works Maintenance II position that was vacated by Al Holtberg at the end of July. Lorenz has experience in the public utility industry and has run a snowplow truck and smaller construction equipment in the past. He is expected to start with the city on September 6.

• Approved the purchase of a new broom attachment for the city’s sidewalk sweeper power unit. The cost of a 48” broom was $4,400 plus freight from Mid-Central Equipment in Henning. The city uses the broom to sweep the sidewalks during the winter months.

• Discussed a lease agreement with the school regarding who is responsible for things like cleaning concession stands, maintaining equipment and picking up trash at Lund Park and Russ Jacobson Field/Smith Park. The city council said it would like to get a committee of representatives from the city and school to discuss the lease agreement. 

• Approved an increase of $15,000 to Apex Engineering for work that is being completed at the South Point project. City engineer Michael Weber said the biggest change came from the basic services category in their original agreement with the city, which is based on a percentage of the overall construction costs. Weber said the original payments were estimations for the work to be completed on the project, which has changed in recent months to include a large 60-unit apartment building.