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Vilas County Board delays decision on adding ATV/UTV to more county roads


The Vilas County board postponed voting on allowing more ATV/UTV access on county trunk roads in Boulder Junction, Plum Lake, Manitowish Waters, and Winchester but adopted allowing them on Highway J in St. Germain for access to Oneida County.

After about an hour of comments, the postponement was for a “day certain” to be acted upon within six months on or prior to the county board meeting on July 28.

A number of supervisors were in supportive of ATV travel but felt the position of towns need to be considered.

“I support ATV’s but they should be off-roads and trails,” Supervisor Mike Biszak said. “I can’t vote for this because I’ve always supported towns although I know ATV’s are coming and we should work together.”

Supervisor Jerry Burkett had a similar opinion.

“I am pro ATV/UTV’s and Eagle River was one of the first to approve them on city streets. Towns should elect town boards that affect your views,” Burkett said. “We need to work with the towns, not against them and I understand they need the (tourism) tax dollars.”

Supervisor Holly Tomlanovich was strongly supportive of allowing access to the county highway system.

“There are many areas on the eastern side of the county that have county highways open for ATV/UTV’s and as these are county highways it’s the county that has discretion in allowing them,” she stated. “We’ve asked towns to come the table to work out a compromise, but we can’t even get them to come to the table. I rent a house and five more units for ATV users so there is an economic impact and there have been no deaths in Vilas County.”

Supervisor Marvin Anderson indicated “there’s room for all activities in Vilas County” but joined other calls to have all sides sit down together.

At the end of discussion, a motion was adopted to postpone action to a date certain but not more than six months for the reconsideration of four ordinance changes affecting ATV/UTV travel on those selected county highways in Plum Lake, Boulder Junction, Manitowish Waters, and Winchester.

The board then adopted an ordinance allowing them on Highway J in St. Germain due to support from the town. This short 600 foot section would then allow access to the Oneida County system.

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