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City takes action against barking dogs

Those dogs you hear continually barking during the day?

The city of Alexandria now has a better way of dealing with the complaints.

At its meeting Monday, the Alexandria City Council gave preliminary approval to amend a section of city code that regulates animal nuisances.

Under the current code, it is a nuisance for any animal to "habitually or frequently bark or cry at night."

This wording, however, ties the hands of police when responding to barking dog complaints during the day, noted City Planner Mike Weber.

The council agreed to delete the words "at night" from code.

Following are other items the council addressed not covered in other council stories.

Vacation rental change

The council gave preliminary approval to amend an ordinance for licensing and inspecting short-term vacation rentals.

Part of the ordinance set a maximum overnight guest capacity on such properties to 12 people.

However, the city was approached by a manager of one of the properties requesting a delay because they had already taken reservations for the 2019 season before the city enacted the ordinance, and canceling those reservations would be a hardship.

The request is similar to one received and approved by Douglas County, according to Weber.

The council voted 4-1 to delay the implementation of the overall capacity units until Jan. 1, 2020. Bobbie Osterberg voted against it.

In related action, the council gave final approval to amend the fee schedule for various licenses and permits in the city.

One new fee was added — a $240 fee for private-vacation home rentals, plus an additional $12 for every bedroom.

Licenses approved

The council approved two charitable gambling licenses, allowing the Alexandria VFW Auxiliary to conduct bingo at the club on April 7, and American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education (ABATE) to sell raffle tickets for a May 19 event at the Runestone Community Center. ABATE also received a one-day, off-site gambling premise permit from the state.

The council also approved a fireworks license for Target.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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