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Council’s actions reflect

‘Snomo Capital’ theme

The city of Eagle River appears to be re-stating its case on deserving the title “Snowmobile Capital of the World,” for the city council voted last week to approve an ordinance that creates access routes to residences, businesses and lodging facilities.

 

On a one-year trial basis, the ordinance will allow sledders to use most city streets to get from trails to their destination and back again, provided sledders use the shortest route to an established snowmobile trail.

 

The ordinance prohibits snowmobile operation down most of Wall and Railroad streets, though sledders can cross those streets at intersections. Sledders must travel single file on the right side of the roadway and must obey all traffic signals and signs. Operation on any sidewalk is prohibited.

 

We commend the city council for finding a way to accommodate snowmobilers in a county-seat city that, in most cases, would have too much traffic congestion to share the roadways with recreational vehicles. However, this is the snowmobile capital and, in the winter months, traffic congestion really isn’t a big issue.

 

Snowmobilers are warned, however, that Bridge Street and Pine Street are U.S. Highway 45 and that snowmobilers don’t have access to them. They should also be concerned about knowing what the shortest routes are to the nearest snowmobile trail, so they don’t end up in trouble with the law.

 

It is true that the ordinance will put an additional burden on the city’s police department, for it will have the responsibility of taking enforcement action against sledders who simply run city streets with no business or residential destination in mind. And if that occurs too often, the snowmobiling community can bet this one-year trial won’t be repeated.

 

It was brilliant of the city council to establish the new routes on a trial basis, because it will put the responsibility for good behavior on snowmobilers. Rest assured that any reports of speeding, reckless use, property damage and trespassing on private property will make their way to the city council.

Revised library project

stirring some excitement

A revised plan calling for an expansion and renovation project at Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River is being met with increased public enthusiasm, evidenced by a $100,000 pledge that was received recently from summer homeowners Terry and Sylvia Lutz of Hartford.

 

We tip our caps to the Lutz family for their vision and generosity, for they realize the importance a state-of-the-art library can make in shaping the future development of a community. We also commend the library foundation for its diligent work in promoting this worthwhile project, for they’ve cleared many obstacles from its path.

 

Citizens from all walks of life currently make use of the library for its book collection, its interlibrary loan program and its computer learning center. The expanded facility will feature all that plus a large public meeting room, a larger conference room, larger restroom facilities and several special reading/study areas.

Behind the editorial ‘we’

 

Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 3:21 PM
 

Comments  

 
+8 #1 Denny Erardi 2013-09-17 18:10
Couldn't disagree more with the Council's passing of the snowmobile ordinance. Snowmobilers already ride recklessly, already cause traffic and pedestrian mishaps. Having the ability to travel on city streets is not going to improve that situation. Does "business destination" include the bars? The ER police department doesn't need to be taxed any more than they currently are, and the statement that "Rest assured ...." is sheer conjecture and in my opinion, highly unlikely.

The idea that anyone is going to legitimately patrol to ensure that a snowmobiler is taking the shortest possible route to a given destination is silly...not going to happen.

My fingers are crossed that after a year this ordinance is turned back.
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