Vilas County

Vilas County Courthouse Security Debated

May 10, 2017

Security  for both employees and visitors to the Vilas County courthouse complex when the new $11 million addition is completed was debated by the county public property committee this week with different views expressed for a complete system at one public entrance or increased security for specific departments depending on their functions.

The state Wisconsin Fund program that provides financial assistance to replace failing septic systems faces elimination in the next state budget and the Vilas County Zoning committee approved a resolution supporting continuing the program. Vilas County Zoning Administrator Dawn Schmidt indicated over 41,000 residents have participated in the Wisconsin Fund including 66 in Vilas County. The program is funded by county septic system permit fees with $100 sent to the state for each sanitary permit.

ReptOn 1x Wikimedia Commons

A policy for development and maintenance of recreation trails on Vilas County forest lands was adopted by the county Forestry, Recreation, and Land committee recently  to assure all trail proposals of any kind are treated in a similar fashion, comply with state statutes, the adopted 15 year comprehensive plan, and certification standards.

Public Domain Pictures

The Vilas County forestry committee gave the green light Wednesday to apply for ATV funds for 10 miles of multi-use off highway trails that would improve connections to the developing RV Park by Torch Lake south of Conover while at the same time linking communities.

"We are shovel ready for ATV's from Eagle River north to Conover and can apply now for ATV maintenance funds," according to county recreation administrator Dale Mayo who said most of the trail would be on existing snowmobile trails.

Those funds would be a 100 percent grant from the Off Road Vehicle Counsel.

Vilas County Landfill Has About 10 Years Left

Feb 15, 2017
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Future expansion of the Vilas County Highway G landfill will depend upon finding other properties to replace acreage removed from the county forest along with both DNR and county board approval.

At a meeting Monday,  landfill community members were informed there are about 10 years left in the final cell and they need to seek additional land for future operations.

Vilas County Swears In New District Attorney

Dec 28, 2016

Vilas County has a new district attorney as Martha Milanowski was administered the oath of office by Judge Neal "Chip" Nielsen, III on Tuesday.

Milanowski, who served 16 years as the county corporation counsel, replaces Al Moustakis who was DA for 23 years and did not seek reelection.

Milanowski thanked many persons present for support and encouragement; especially her husband Gary, their three children, and her parents who braved the weather to see her take her next step in her legal career.

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One person has died in a Vilas county traffic crash.

The Sheriff's Department reports the crash just before 7:30 Wednesday evening on Sundstein Road near Eagle River. The driver of the pickup truck missed a 90 degree curve and struck a tree. The driver was the sole occupant and was pronounced dead on the scene.

The name of the driver will be released when family is fully notified.

The public is invited to hear the latest on the progress of the work being done by Great Headwaters Trails at their 6th annual meeting on August 17th.

The hour-long meeting will begin at 5:30pm in Conover’s Community Park. President of the Great Headwaters Trails, Jeff Currie says this meeting will be different than others in the past.


Less Money Makes For Tough Choices On VC Roads

Jun 22, 2016

Staff cutbacks combined with a reduction in road work, budgets, and what level of service should be provided on 200 miles of Vilas County highways was discussed by the county highway committee Tuesday.

Highway Commissioner Nick Scholtes said due to staff shortages mowing and crack sealing has been put off, only three miles of new pavement will be done this year, and the county could lose some discretionary state funds for work of state highways.

A Phelps woman has been found dead on a trail in Phelps and the Vilas County Sheriff's Department is calling the death 'suspicious'.

Sheriff Joe Fath reports a 9-1-1 caller reported finding the body on a trail behind apartments in Phelps. The body was identified at 47 year old Luann Beckman. She was last seen riding her bicycle Sunday afternoon about 4;30 p.m. Fath says state experts were called in to examine the scene and report a suspicious death.

Fath says the Sheriff's office, Coroner, District Attorney and Wisconsin Department of Justice are investigating.

Vilas County Tourism and Publicity

Travelers and others using mobile media devices will note a new Vilas County tourism website that has been redesigned with a number of new features.

Vilas County Director of Tourism and Publicity Cindy Burzinski says to stay in front of changing traveler needs, they wanted a new tourism website...

".....we found out that in the past year, over 50 percent of users to our site were using mobile devices. In order to make visitors at the website an impressive experience, we upgraded it to mobile-friendly and make it more eye catching...."

A limited number of Oneida county state-funded snowmobile trails will open for the season this Saturday morning.

Officials say several trails will remain closed until further notice, including all Three Lakes trails, all Hodag/Rhinelander area trails, portions of the Willow region,and portions of the Minocqua Forest Riders Area. All lake trails in Oneida County remain closed and will stay that way until a local snowmobile club marks the lake trail as safe. Trails remain in rough condition. Vilas county trails opened this week.

Remember that old MasterCard commercial, asserting that that value of some things are priceless? What about clean water? Emily Bright brings us a new Vilas County study that puts an economic value on its surface water—and it might be higher than you think.

"Are you really going out today?"

"Oh, yeah. I surf all winter in New York so, it’s all good."

Wisconsin DNR


The Vilas County Board voted Tuesday to allow ATVs to ride on defined sections of county trunk highways as part of a larger ATV route that spans Eagle River, Conover, Lincoln, and Phelps. ATVs will be allowed to run on the road where signage permits, but they must stay as far to the side as practicable. There is no set date for when those signs will go up, though ATV riders are hopeful that they can start this spring.

Meanwhile, Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties could be joining forces to provide public transportation to some of its residents.

Two Fatal Accidents Claim Lives in Vilas County

Jan 12, 2015

A 34-year-old Pewaukee man was killed in a snowmobile accident Saturday in Plum Lake Township --off of Birch Spring Road near Sayner.

Vilas County investigators say Jason Ringle fell off a snowmobile and was struck by another snowmobile in his group.

It was the first snowmobile-related death recorded in Wisconsin this year.  

The accident remains under investigation by Vilas County authorities and the DNR.

Wisconsin recorded three snowmobile-related deaths in December.