Dunn County approves easement for bike and walking trail through Menomin Park

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  The Dunn County Board has granted an easement to the City of Menomonie for a proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail through Menomin Park to complete the entire loop around Lake Menomin.

The Dunn County Board approved the easement, along with a temporary easement to provide access for construction equipment, at the February 18 meeting.

The permanent easement covers a proposed bicycle and pedestrian trail from the I-94 pedestrian trail bridge that crosses the Red Cedar River to Stokke Parkway.

The temporary easement will give legal access and will allow room to do the work for grading and constructing the trail, and when the work is finished, the temporary easement will expire, said Nick Lange, Dunn County corporation counsel.

This segment of trail is part of a much larger project, noted Bob Walter, county board supervisor from Menomonie and chair of the Dunn County Planning, Resources and Development Committee.

Wendy Sander of Cedar Corporation, who is the City of Menomonie’s planner, said the new section of trail will complete the full loop of biking and walking trails around Lake Menomin.

After the new section of trail is completed, people will be able to use all of the trail system for recreation or as a way to get to work, she said.

Although Sander did not have the exact figures, she said the trail system around Lake Menomin will cover several miles.

Sheila Stori, Dunn County Board supervisor from Menomonie, wondered if trail users would be required to buy a permit to access the trail.

Use of the entire trail is free to all residents of Dunn County and to all visitors who wish to take advantage of biking and walking opportunities, Sander said.

The Dunn County Board unanimously approved the easement and the temporary easement for the trail from the Red Cedar River to Stokke Parkway.

Other business

In other business, the Dunn County Board:

• Scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. March 11 to discuss the directional planning priorities submitted by the standing committees.

• Approved on the second reading an amendment to the Dunn County comprehensive zoning ordinance allowing residences as a permitted use in the General Agricultural district at a density of one residence to eight acres, establishing parent tracts and contiguous tracts, and allowing golf courses, tennis courts, archery ranges and similar private or public clubs or fraternities in the Residential I district as a special exception that would be approved by the Dunn County Zoning Board of Adjustment.

• Learned that decreases in state funding to the UW system could result in Dunn County losing UW-Extension agents in several areas, such as 4-H, family and agriculture.

• Approved a resolution proclaiming April 2015 as National County Government Month. According to the resolution, 3,069 counties in the United States provide services to three hundred million Americans, such as building and maintaining roads and bridges, providing health care, administering justice, keeping communities safe, running elections, managing solid waste, and keeping records.