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Group To File Appeal, Again Seeking Permission To Pump Water From Near Carlin Lake

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Trig Solberg’s group plans to keep up the fight to pump water for bottling from near a rural lake in Vilas County.

In a letter dated Tuesday, the group’s attorney, John Houlihan, alerted Vilas County Circuit Court Judge Neal Nielsen that the matter will likely end up in his courtroom again.

“Please be advised that Carlin Club Properties intends to request this Court to again review this decision of the Board,” Houlihan wrote.

On Nov. 14, the Vilas County Board of Adjustment unanimously rejected Carlin Club Properties’ appeal to

Credit Ben Meyer/WXPR
The Nov. 14, 2019, Vilas County Board of Adjustment hearing to consider water pumping from near Carlin Lake.

allow the pumping.  The board upheld a decision from Vilas County Zoning Administrator Dawn Schmidt that the use didn’t fit with its zoning classification.

It was the latest setback for the group headed by Solberg, who founded Trig’s supermarkets.  His plans have now been rejected by a circuit court judge, a state appeals court, the Vilas County Zoning Administrator, and twice by the Board of Adjustment.

The group wants to send three tanker trucks daily down a narrow road to collect water from a private well at the Carlin Club, a restaurant, bar, and lodge in Presque Isle.  Each truck would carry 6,000 gallons of water to Marenisco, Mich. for bottling and commercial sale.

The Carlin Lake Association and people living on the lake have fought vigorously to block the pumping, saying it’s inappropriate in their residential area.

If Solberg’s group completes its stated intentions and files an appeal, Nielsen would likely make a ruling on whether the Board of Adjustment considered the issue properly.


Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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