The Vilas County board of supervisors has turned back another attempt to establish an ATV route on a county highway.
Earlier this year, supervisors rejected a proposal for an ATV route in the town of Phelps.
Tuesday night, supervisors said no to an All-Terrain Vehicle ordinance that would have permitted an ATV route, on county highway D in Lac du Flambeau.
The county board meeting was held at the St. Germain Community Center. Supporters and opponents of the measure packed the room, including Lac du Flambeau Tribal Chairman Tom Maulson. The proposed route, seven-tenths of a mile, would have created an ATV trail to Lake of the Torches Casino, which Maulson noted is Vilas county’s largest employer...
"We ask this board to really think hard about the economics that are really crushing not only my reservation, even though we have gaming...but the opportunities that are coming down the road are far greater, especially in the western part of this county."
One of the main concerns was the 2004 referendum in which Vilas county voters resoundingly rejected ATV’s on county land. Other issues included language in the proposed ATV ordinance giving the highway committee authority to develop policies and procedures, as well as establishing criteria for future ATV routes. Michael Orlowski, a student representative on the county board, said he found this section of the ordinance disconcerting....
"It's been explained to me that this is not necessary unless this ordinance passes. But I think that that language is very important. Because I think that language is what's going to determine whether or not ATV usage on county highways will occur other than this seven-tenths of a mile being discussed in Lac du Flambeau."
Near the end of the meeting, Supevisor Erv Teichmiller made a motion to delay a vote on the ordinance until another referendum, similar to the 2004 referendum, is held. His motion was defeated on a voice vote.