Elk Mound Village Board and local snowmobile club to work on adjusting ordinance

By Cara L. Dempski

ELK MOUND — Judging from the hubbub on Facebook relating to a local snowmobile club’s reaction to Elk Mound’s village board meeting agenda last Wednesday night, it could have been a contentious evening.

Instead, the village board, interim police chief Mike Tietz, and members of the Elk Lake Blizzard Breakers came to an understanding about needed fixes for snowmobile routes and village ordinance during the September 6 meeting.

[emember_protected] The meeting agenda included a discussion of action on non-compliance for ATV/UTV and snowmobile routes in the Village. The document caught the attention of club member Tony Kohnke, who posted the agenda on the Elk Lake Blizzard Breakers’ Facebook page late in the evening September 5 asking members to please be present at the meeting the following day.

Approximately 15 club members, and one village resident not affiliated with the Blizzard Breakers, reported to the municipal building in Elk Mound for the 7 p.m. meeting.

Interim police chief Mike Tietz detailed his concerns regarding a 2010 board motion to establish ATV/UTV and snowmobile routes in the village. The issue from Tietz’s point of view is that the route map created from that motion authorized operation on property the village does not have authority over.

In addition, village ordinance and state statute require such routes be designation by resolution, not by motion, and requires copies of ordinances and designated routes be sent to the DNR and other agencies with road jurisdiction.

Tietz indicated he has found no evidence this was done.

Other concerns presented by the interim chief included current signage not meeting requirements.

Blizzard Breakers club president Brad Schuch indicated his understanding of Tietz’s concerns, and voiced the club’s opinion not only in determining new routes through town, but in making changes to local ordinance to make what can and cannot be done inside village limits more concrete.

In the end, the board accepted a motion to rescind the existing snowmobile and ATV/UTV routes as shown on the map, but leave ordinances intact for “fixing.”

The goal is for the public safety committee, police chief, and club stakeholders to meet with Alan Harvey, the village attorney contracted for local ordinance, to update the map, create resolutions, and adjust ordinances for review and approval by the end of November.

The motion to rescind the map was approved unanimously.

Other business

The Messenger learned late Tuesday afternoon, September 5, that the public safety and employee relations committees had approved recruiting a full-time police chief with a salary between $24 and $27 per hour.

The information was provided in advance of the September 6 board meeting after it was determined the information was not subject to closed session during the August 31 meeting.

The board unanimously approved the recommendation to begin the recruitment process, and committee chairwoman Deborah Creaser-Kipp indicated application packets would be available at the village clerk’s office or via email from Pat Hahn.

In other business, the board:

• Approved a license for Ashley Priebe at the Pourhouse.

• Discussed progress made on village ordinance 10-5-8 for debris, junked vehicle and appliances on private property. [/emember_protected]