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Vilas County Keeps Pushing Recreation Public Service Safety Announcements

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Public service safety announcements will continue to be displayed on TV-12 after approval last week by the Vilas County Recreation Trails Committee.

According to Vilas County Tourism & Publicity director Cindy Burzinski the thirty second spots highlight ATV/UTV safety in a cooperative effort with Oneida County.

“The announcements will run for eight weeks from June 18 to August 18 at random times,” Burzinski said. “We will need to add recognition of Oneida County ATV Alliance since they have provided $1,000 in funding.”

Vilas Recreation Officer Jason Molle indicated so far this year he has spent 96 hours on ATV patrol.

“We’ve received 20 reported complaints with three reported accidents, four citations issues, and 17 written warnings.” he said. “In one accident a child was injured wearing a bike helmet instead of the more protective full helmet.”

Burzinski also asked for a full page health safety add aimed at those under age 18 in the 2022 Vilas County Visitors Guide with funds coming from a grant through the county Health Department. The committee approved the request.

Vilas County Forest Administrator Al Murray explored printing a safety handout that machine rental businesses could give out with officer Molle indicating “some require renters to watch a safety video” before heading out on the trails. A suggestion for a placard to be displayed instead was supported.

Bike representative Jeff Currie reported Marshfield Clinic would like to partner to develop a safety message for bicyclists.

One ATV/UTV issue that continues is access to Eagle River from the north that is hindered by a wetland area along Highway 45 north of Chain O’ Lakes road. ATV representative Roger Flaherty described what steps they are taking to try to solve the issue.

“We’ve applied for a grant to construct a multi-use use bridge and are waiting for a decision,” Flaherty said. “The bridge would be about 600 feet long with an estimated cost of just over $800,000. We need a solution.”

Administrator Murray proposed applying for a temporary permit from the Dept. of Transpiration “to use that trail as a safety issue until a permanent bridge over the wetland is built” so they don’t enter the highway. He suggested a legislative request for the temporary permit.

Supervisor Holly Tomlanovich asked for this temporary permit request to our legislators be forwarded to the county Forestry, Land & Recreation committee, which she chairs, along with a letter of support from this committee.

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