Vilas County citizens should be proud of their county board. The Vilas County Board of Supervisors voted 13-8 on May 28 to deny the town of Lac du Flambeau’s request to designate a 0.7-mile stretch of Highway D as an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) route.
More importantly, the board voted down a proposed ordinance that would have allowed the board in the future to designate any county highway, at any time, on any stretch of road, as an ATV route.
As a result of this vote, Vilas County citizens may proudly point to their Vilas County Board of Supervisors as a governing body that listens to a multitude of concerned voters, property owners and taxpayers, and then acts on their behalf.
In the discussion at that board meeting the evening of May 28 in St. Germain, the following six points stood out:
1.?Supervisors received a large number of communications from citizens regarding the opening of Highway D to ATV traffic, over 100 responses in some cases.
2.?The communications were overwhelmingly opposed to the proposed ATV route ordinance, a 10-to-1 ratio in some cases.
3.?Supervisors recognized that this short stretch of Highway D was a countywide issue because county roads are supported by all Vilas County taxpayers.
4.?Additionally, supervisors recognized that this proposed ordinance would enable rapid and widespread proliferation of ATV routes on county roads in all towns throughout Vilas County.
5.?To underscore this previous point, one supervisor was urged by a pro-ATV caller from outside the county to vote for the proposed ordinance, claiming that this ordinance will provide a “foot in the door” for ATV traffic in Vilas County.
6.?The proposed ordinance would invite piecemeal introduction of ATV routes randomly without a comprehensive overall countywide ATV route plan that citizens could view, digest and ultimately vote to accept or reject.
Three cheers for the 13 members of the Vilas County Board of Supervisors who listened to concerned and respectful citizens, fully understood the reasoning underlying their concerns, and voted no to the proposed ATV route ordinance.