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ATVs would help Three Lakes’ future PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

We would like to express our support for the efforts of the Three Lakes Nicolet ATV Club who is seeking town board approval to open all town roads to ATV travel.

This action would allow ATV riders to use town roads as routes to access ATV trails. We urge the town board to approve this request, which we feel will be a step toward developing another source of badly needed tourism dollars for our town and its businesses.

As long-time, year-round residents of Three Lakes and property owners of both rural forest and chain property here, we know the beauty, richness, and uniqueness of our small town. We are fortunate to have efficient government services, high quality schools and a good variety of businesses which are all supported by a community that prides itself in working together.

Unfortunately, the long term vitality of our community has been threatened lately due to a combination of an economic recession (and slow recovery) and a weather-dependent tourism base that has suffered from poor snow conditions.

Three Lakes is blessed with a wonderful group of volunteers and organizations that put in long hours each year to create and maintain a wide variety of events to draw more people to spend time here. These community events have traditionally been successful in bringing people into town, but with the changing economics of recent years, we need to do more. We need to expand our tourism base to find additional sources of revenue for our local businesses.

As was pointed out at the recent ATV informational session, our town is losing population and with it, empty storefronts are showing up on Superior Street. Many businesses are barely hanging on, having already come off some lean years and now facing another winter with marginal snow conditions.

We need to take action now and seize the opportunity to utilize the many great attributes that makes Three Lakes truly unique in the North Woods. We believe that the newly formed ATV club is doing their homework to set up a framework for a thoughtful, well-reasoned, and careful approach to creating routes on town roads and has been forthcoming and informative with their ideas and proposals.

Living out in the Nicolet National Forest on Military Rd., we have watched all types of visitors and summer residents safely enjoying our scenic road — bicyclists, joggers, motorcycle riders, hikers and snowmobilers, all sharing this hilly, winding road (along with the occasional logging truck, school buses and septic pumpers). We would welcome the ATV riders to join them and utilize the route to connect with trails to the east.

By moving forward with this well-reasoned proposal, the town board has a chance to benefit our town’s economic development, assist our local business climate and add lustre to our reputation as the “single best town.”

When the town Plan Commission recently researched what happened in other Wisconsin communities who opened their roads to ATVs, they learned that many of the same concerns expressed here were also issues in those communities at first. But now that ATVs are using their roads, those concerns have not come to pass. We can learn from those communities who are now enjoying the benefits of those additional ATV dollars.

We urge the town board to vote in favor of ATV routes for our town roads. You will be helping to secure the future of Three Lakes. We want to enjoy our town for years to come.

Bill and Susan Kordula

Three Lakes

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:48 PM

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