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Vilas County Forestry Committee Votes Against Allowing Memorials on County Lands

Phelps Chamber of Commerce

A request by Headwaters Trails to erect a bench on the Conover-Phelps bike trail and memorialize an individual prompted a long discussion. It ended with the Vilas County forestry committee voting 4-1 to not allow any memorials on county lands. Existing memorials can remain, but county corporation counsel was directed to draft a formal resolution for the June committee meeting.

They’ve talked about this many times over the years according to committee member Art Kunde. Kunde says they’ve had many people work hard on projects that benefit the county and they were always told they don’t memorialize.

Committee member Holly Tomlanovich agreed. Tomlanovich has been long active in snowmobiling and said clubs in the past who wanted to memorialize a person were always turned down.

A number of memorials currently on county lands were individually authorized by past committee actions, but there is no official policy. Corporation Counsel Jack Albert said since they exist, it would be hard to defend new proposals in court.

That’s what prompted a motion to have Albert draft a resolution to not allow any memorials on county lands from this point forward, but to allow those existing to remain, which passed 4-1.

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