Members of the Town of Auburn board, during their Monday, Nov. 26, meeting, discussed the possibility of allowing ATVs and UTVs use on town roads.
Members of the Kettle Trails ATV/UTV Trail Planning Group approached the town board at their October meeting to see if the town would consider an ordinance allowing ATV/UTV use on town roadways.
Kettle Trails came up with a proposal for the township which included a list of the roads they would like to use and a sample ordinance for the town to approve. Members in attendance at the meeting explained that this is a growing trend in the state.
Some area municipalities, like the Village of Eden and Town of Osceola, have recently approved similar ordinances. “The whole northern half of the state and the UP are open,” said Tommy Thompson, chairman for Town of Osceola and proponent for the ATV ordinance.
Another ATV member explained that they are working to get this part of the state open for ATV trails. “We’re working on connecting this all around the area,” said Tom Kempke. “The idea is to get access all around.
It also allows your people (residents) to get to the forest.” Kempke explained that Kettle Trails is in the process right now of going to area municipalities in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Washington and Ozaukee counties with the same proposal.
They are working hard right now to open roadways to ATV/UTVs. Thompson explained that he did a lot of research before the Town of Osceola approved their ordinance.
He called area municipalities that had already approved similar ordinances to see how it was working in their communities. “I called all the people around the area and asked if they had any problems and they said no,” Thompson said.
Auburn board members stated that they had a few more questions about this idea and how to implement it. Some have already talked with area business owners who all stated that they are in favor of the ordinance. “The people I’ve talked to have been for it,” said supervisor Jim “Woody” Woodworth. “I want it, but I still think there might be some question marks.” Supervisor John Janz stated, “I’m not saying let’s jump head first into it. We should hash this out.
The board also wanted to get more information out to town residents before approving any ordinance. They wanted as many people to know about this and have a chance to comment on it as possible. “The more meetings we have, the more people can get out here and voice their opinion,” Janz said.
Chairman Ken Depperman added, “I think it’s important to get it out to the citizens and see what they think.” The board decided they are going to form a committee with themselves, residents and members of Kettle Trails.
This group will do a little more research to answer the questions the board has and get just a little more information on this subject. “As a committee, we will give monthly updates,” Janz said. They did not give a timeline as to how long it will take to research, but hoped it would only take a few months.
The subject will then come to the town board again in the future for a decision. In other business, board members asked residents to let them know if there are any trees near town roads that are uprooted, leaning or hanging.
They are still cleaning up from the storms that hit the area at the end of August and are trying to continue to clear any trees damaged by the tornadoes and strong winds. “If anyone sees any spots where there are bad trees where they are leaning or hanging, please let us know,” Woodworth said.