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June 21, 2018

10/10/2017 7:27:00 AM
Arbor Vitae approves ATV route

Abbey McEnroe
Lakeland Times reporter

All terrain vehicle operators in Arbor Vitae are one step closer to riding more extensive routes after the Arbor Vitae Town Board approved additional ATV routes at its meeting on Wednesday.

"It would run up Highway 51 would be basically on the snowmobile trail," chairman Frank Bauers stated.

"There's a few town roads we'd have to jump out to because of wetland," vice president of the Lakeland ATV Club Corky Sheppard responded.

"And it would run down as far as Kwik Trip, maybe a little farther?" Bauers asked.

"Correct. I'm going to run into problems with DOT (department of transportation) down there working with the Hallstroms, the Woodruff road out to Lake Tomahawk," Sheppard stated. "They're probably going to want a light barrier."

An attendee asked what a light barrier was to which Sheppard responded it blocked headlights between ATVs and vehicles.

"A light barrier is a four foot wall so the headlight ... because we can only be on one side so traffic going north with the headlights coming south, they can't see them ... chain of thought what we'd like to do on the right a way is put a berm dirt, plant it with grass ... and make it look nice," Sheppard responded.

This route proposal is not new, however, Sheppard said this same proposal was offered before.

"This is the same proposal we offered a year ago," Sheppard explained. "We go up Old 51, the current route is on the blacktop right now and then we turn down on Old 51 and head over to Highway 51 to Airport Road and we'll go about 200 feet across and that's when we'll cross and get into the railroad bed, the DOT property."

"The only thing you're asking our town for permission for is Old Highway 51, to go across to (Hwy) 51?" Bauers asked.

Sheppard responded that that was correct.

"We need the town to sponsor like we did with the (Hwy) 47 grade and, once again, it'd be no cost to the town," Sheppard assured. "Any gravel, any build up the shoulders ... the club will pay for everything."

Sheppard also said the club has land use agreements with businesses.

"We do have Northern Cafe - a land use agreement with them as a park and unload and they are under our insurance already," Sheppard said. "We have land use agreements with Preuss's Pub, Heart II, Plantation, Murphy's signed one, so we've got our leg work going out already and they all signed land use agreements."

Bauers went on to compliment the ATV users on their respectful use of other routes.

"I know we've fielded very few complaints about ATVs and UTVs in our town office this year," Bauers expressed. "... I think the ATVs have been very well behaved in our town."

Supervisor Ashley Roach agreed and said the more legal routes open the less illegal activity.

"The more roads we open legally in the right places, with the right safety precautions in order the less likely we'll have illegal traffic," Roach said.

Supervisor Ryan Johnson said even those who oppose the trails might begin to support them after seeing positive behavior.

Johnson made a motion, seconded by Roach, to open Old Hwy 51 N, Airport Rd for 200 feet, sections of Walck, Kollman, N. Farming, Schuman, Wendy and Terry Dr. and trail 5 of the snowmobile trail for ATV UTV use. The board unanimously approved.

Abbey McEnroe may be reached via email at amcenroe@lakelandtimes.com.

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