Critters still an issue in Two HarborsDogs, cats, deer, geese—Two Harbors is full of critters and some of them need tending to. The city council, at Monday's meeting, heard a report from councilman Chris Swanson about suggestions made about some of the animal issues
By: Monica Isley, Lake County News Chronicle
Dogs, cats, deer, geese—Two Harbors is full of critters and some of them need tending to.
The city council, at Monday's meeting, heard a report from councilman Chris Swanson about suggestions made about some of the animal issues, beginning with barking dogs and prowling cats.
"Chief (Chris) Donald wants citizens to consistently report barking dogs," Swanson told the council. "And if they don't get a good response, he wants them to call him personally."
The consistency will show a pattern, Swanson said, so that if several reports come in about the same animal, it will be easier to take action.
The populace also needs to be reminded that according to city code, cats aren't allowed to run loose. But
"Carrie (Hogenson) at the humane society said cats are hard to catch, especially the second time," Swanson said.
He also brought up the idea of allowing the humane society to sell dog and cat tags on the weekend when the city hall is closed. Normally, if an animal is picked up that doesn't have a city tag, it can't be released until the owner obtains one. Currently, they are available only at city hall.
However, Swanson said, many people want to pick up their animals on the weekend and they get upset when they have to wait.
"Carrie said it would be so much more efficient if they could sell the tags themselves."
Lynn Habhegger, city clerk who attends the meetings, said the same process was developed in Carlton, where she lives, and it was a "huge success."
The council was agreeable to the idea but decided to check into it before making a decision.
The next animal issue discussed was the goose population at the golf course. The birds come under federal jurisdiction and can't be tampered with, but Swanson said they did get a bit of advice from Bob Kirsch, wildlife manager for the Department of Natural Resources.
He talked about the option of putting up dog silhouettes on the course to discourage the geese; he also mentioned that also it's not allowed to destroy the goose eggs, it is permissable to oil the eggs so they won't hatch.
Discussions will continue on this issue, and it was suggested that golf course grounds manager Nate Vansanten be included.
Swanson said they continue to investigate the idea of a bow season in town in order to control the urban deer population. This would not, he said, mean hunting in residential neighborhoods. The idea of a hunt, as well as other control measures, will be thoroughly researched and provided to the public before public hearings are held on the issue.
The council accepted the second reading of amendments to the ordinance dealing with the city's committees and commissions. The biggest changes are that members must reside within the 55616 zip code area but need not be city residents; and the committees and commissions will be enlarged to seven members, from the five the ordinance currently calls for.
The exceptions are planning and zoning, and trees and trails, which will each have nine.
At Swanson's suggestion, the Star Cities Commission, which had been placed under the jurisdiction of the Two Harbors Development Commission, was discontinued.
"They haven't met for six or seven months," Swanson told the council.
Mayor Randy Bolen told the council that at a recent meeting of the Waterfront Business District, a representative of the Minnesota Department of Transportation said they would be open to overhead signs on Hwy. 61 directing people to the stores downtown.
The issue arose a few weeks when it was learned that off-premises signs are not allowed on 7th Avenue (Hwy. 61) because of restrictions that come with being a Scenic Byway. Downtown businesses are concerned that visitors traveling through will never discover them.
Council president Mary Rosati asked Bolen to discuss the matter further with MnDOT, and he recruited John Dover and Steve Detlefsen to join him.