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Inaction stalls ATV trail plans
MONROE - The battle for an all-terrain vehicle trail running from Monroe to Brodhead has been an ongoing endeavor, and with non-action from the board of Decatur Township, those working to put the trail in place have become increasingly frustrated.

"I'm disgusted with Decatur," said Dusty Kubly, a member of the Green County ATV Club as well as the Brodhead Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. "I've lived here 20-plus years. They're not listening to their residents, which is part of their job."

Plans for a continuation of the ATV route, which begins in Iowa County and ends at the City of Monroe, have been ongoing for a decade. A number of people supporting the trail, including Brodhead Mayor Doug Pinnow, have advocated that ATV and UTV drivers will bring needed patronage to businesses along the route.

Kubly said the proposal includes an ATV/UTV route jutting south from Monroe before joining Town Center Road and heading east. It would then connect with County OK to move north to Ten Eyck Road in Decatur before joining County GG farther east, allowing access to Brodhead.

In December, plan supporters gained momentum with approval from Clarno Township. However, once they met with the Jefferson Town Board, their cause met opposition. Jefferson officials voted that if an ATV route were to be allowed along Town Center Road, every landowner who lived along the route would have to agree to allow riders through the area.

Sherri Fiduccia, Tri-County Trails Commissions member, criticized the requirement and said it was unreasonable because officials do not ask for permission from each motorcycle and vehicle that uses the roads. The group has continued to argue its cause, reaching out to other municipalities despite the new obstacle.

The latest setback for plan proponents occurred during the Decatur Township meeting July 18. Town Chairman Allen Schneider said there was lengthy discussion; board members discussed the benefits of having more traffic in the area but raised concerns over safety problems the ATVs and UTVs could create with other traffic. Kubly said 18 attendees spoke in favor of allowing the route. The meeting ended in silence.

"After all of the discussion, I called for a motion," Schneider said. "I couldn't get a motion from my board members."

He added he did not rule out that the topic could re-appear on upcoming agendas.

Spring Grove is another township that needs to give its approval to use roadway for the ATV trail. Kubly said he is scheduled for the Spring Grove agenda in August, and will speak to board officials there.

In total, there are 23 residents on Ten Eyck Road along the proposed ATV route in Decatur Township. In a survey, the board received 10 responses in favor and seven against. Kubly said the remaining six were neutral about the plan, which is an affirmative response in the eyes of county law. He said neither township is willing to take action, and Spring Grove has been waiting for a decision from Decatur before moving forward.

"I asked if they were willing to be a leader," Kubly said. "I told them, you need to think for yourself."

Both township boards have planned to attend the Green County Wisconsin Towns Association meeting scheduled for Aug. 17. Board members have said they will gauge fellow officials' perspectives on the route plans and then move forward.