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Vilas County Considers Phase 3 Campground-RV Park Development Options


Extensive discussion on what development options should be considered for Phase 3 of the Torch Lake RV campground in Conover was identified recently by the Vilas County forestry, recreation and land committee with initial clearing to begin this month to add 21 sites.

Committee member Art Kunde felt there was no need to completely winterize water lines since “the number of people using the facility after October 1 is very low,” while member Ron DeBruyne suggested to find the low spots in the water system and put in drains at those locations. It was determined the facility would not be open all year and the committee needed to plan that way.

Committee chair Holly Tomlanovich suggested paving be delayed one year to let the roadway settle with a second building as an information center “not needed right now but maybe down the road.”

The largest discussion was a plan for a young playground for children within the campground or simply improve the access and playground equipment at the lakeside playground.

The committee favored a separate site within the campground area costing an estimated $124,000 and covered by the grant. Tomlanovich gave her support indicating “parents won’t allow very young children to go to the lakeside play area by themselves.”

DeBruyne agreed saying “I see a lot of pink tricycles and I would like to see a recreation playground in the park, and I don’t want to see five year old kids headed to the lake by themselves.”

Recreation supervisor Todd Bierman agreed the park playground “would be planned for younger kids age two to five with higher age kids at the lake.” Committee members felt some of the development can be done “in house” especially with the playground.

The committee ended with a motion to include clearing, grubbing, and access paths to the future playground within the campground for younger children. It was also suggested a bike rack be placed by the restroom and ATV/UTV accessibility on hold to check the grant language.

Finally, the committee discussed extra reimbursement to Ayers in the amount of $16,429 but decided to delay any payment to the next meeting for a decision.

Other issues

The committee learned a number of timber contracts were requesting extensions with forest administrator Al Murray feeling the two year contracts would be better for loggers if they were three years and the committee agreed.

Murray said the 10% payments from 2020 county timber sales will be sent to the towns with county forest lands totaling $64,341. Timber sale revenue through February was $29,166 bringing the 2021 revenue total to $170,050.

DNR liaison Jill Nemic said her March work focus will be on county forest 2021 timber sales and training and preparations for the spring fire season.

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