After months of discussion, the Plum Lake Town Board took the next step during a special meeting last week towards allowing all-terrain vehicles in town.
By a vote of 2-to-1, officials decided to send two planned routes for the vehicles on to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for approval.
"We approved two routes," town chairman Will Maines said. "They will bring people into the downtown area of Sayner starting on Birch Spring Road and will connect to Star Lake. They will probably not be opened up this year, the DNR has it so all trails in their plan have to be inspected by DNR staff. Once things are inspected and approved the appropriate signs could be put up. This was just a preliminary motion to send the planned routes off to the DNR. If they approve them, we have the ability to rescind or modify the routes in the future as well."
Though Maines and supervisor Gary Schmidt backed the motion, fellow board member Vernon Wiggenhauser opposed the measure. In his view, a 2015 survey and an earlier survey from more than a decade ago which showed the majority of town residents did not want the vehicles on community streets were what should be respected by the board.
"I have to do what the people want, not what I want," he said. "We had prior surveys where the majority of the town was opposed to ATVs."
Evan J. Pretzer may be reached via email at email@example.com.