Town pooh-poohs Krabloonik request |

Town pooh-poohs Krabloonik request

Chad Abraham

The Krabloonik dog sled and restaurant operation on Monday failed to win approval from Snowmass Village to change two agreements regarding its animal waste.The town is requiring an impervious barrier to prevent dog waste from contaminating a neighboring water-quality pond. Krabloonik requested the town allow it to set up a smaller barrier, which involves a plastic sheet and railroad ties.Krabloonik attorney David Myler said installing the sheet 6 inches deep and 3 feet from the sides of an existing 6-by-6 wooden structure would make the job much easier than what the current arrangement calls for. Smaller dimensions would help the business avoid bringing in heavy machinery to build the barrier, Myler said.”This proposal complies in spirit if not in letter to” previous agreements, he said.But an environmental consultant previously recommended the barrier be twice the size of Krabloonik’s request. Town planners recommended that the council agree with the consultant.Town Councilmen Bill Boineau, John Wilkinson and Arnie Mordkin sided with the planners and consultant. Mayor Doug Mercatoris and Councilwoman Sally Sparhawk were absent Monday.Krabloonik owner Dan MacEachen also sought permission to store some dog waste on site during winter, as the business once did; the operation now arranges for the waste of 250 sled dogs to be removed along with its trash on a daily basis.MacEachen told the councilmen the Pitkin County Landfill will not accept the pickups in the winter because the poop is often encased in ice and snow. Allowing workers to store it in a pit – which meets all health code requirements, Myler said – would also greatly improve dog-waste removal.The town’s senior planner, Jim Wahlstrom, said using the pit violates a municipal code that forbids on-site storage of dog waste. The councilmen voted unanimously against the pit request, but urged its staff and Krabloonik to come up with innovative ways to get rid of the waste.Wilkinson said San Francisco uses utilities powered by dog waste and urged MacEachen to research the technology.Mordkin questioned why Krabloonik couldn’t store the waste and then have a sewer truck pump it out twice a month or so. MacEachen said getting such trucks onto the site in wintertime is problematic because of snow.The council also discussed plans for a parking lot near the dog sled property in the Divide area above town. Krabloonik officials had proposed to pay for a gravel surface or pay half the cost of paving the site, with the town picking up the other half. Monday night, Myler offered to pave the lot with recycled asphalt.The town obtained the site in a land swap involving Krabloonik and the Divide Homeowners Association. Mostly Krabloonik patrons use the parking lot, Wahlstrom said. The dog-sled business wants to use part of the lot for a single-family home and is offering to build the town a new parking lot at a site farther down Divide Road.The council instructed the town engineer to study the recycled asphalt proposal.Krabloonik drew a storm of criticism in April 2005 when it revealed that old dogs or those not suitable for sledding were culled with gunshots to the head. MacEachen changed the euthanasia method and also began giving dogs to the animal shelter for adoption.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is

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