If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Most — if not all — of the signs for the all-terrain vehicle routes in Colfax have been installed, clearing the way for the ATV/UTV routes in the village to be opened.
The Colfax Rolling Hills ATV/UTV Club will be paying for the cost of installing the posts and signs, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, at the Colfax Village Board’s December 14 meeting.
The Colfax Village Board approved an ordinance earlier this year that allows all-terrain vehicles to operate on village streets 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, except where the speed limit on a state highway is greater than 35 mph.
State law allows the village to authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles on state highways where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
Although the village board and the all-terrain vehicle club had hoped to have the routes in Colfax open earlier than this, there were delays in obtaining approval from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
One of the areas that caused the most concern from state officials is the route going to Tom Prince Memorial Park.
State Highway 170 changes to a 40 mph speed limit just west of the Red Cedar River Bridge, and the village ended up constructing a driveway immediately west of the bridge to allow all-terrain vehicles to get off the highway and into Stuart Park as soon as possible. ATVs/UTVs can then drive through Stuart Park to reach Tom Prince Memorial Park.
The other area of concern was on the south side of Colfax where the speed limit increases to 45 mph on state Highway 40.
Since the village cannot approve Highway 40 as a route where the speed limit is above 35 mph, the village board approved a more indirect route on side streets both east and west of Highway 40 to allow all-terrain vehicles to have a route to reach Kyle’s Market.
The state had inspected the signs the previous week, Niggemann said at the December 14 meeting.
All of the signs were installed except for the speed limit signs by the bridge, said Rand Bates, director of public works.
Scott Gunnufson, village president, called Dave Hovre, a member of the Colfax Rolling Hills ATV/UTV Club, to help clarify the information on sign installation.
The signs are 90 percent installed, and it is okay to open the ATV/UTV routes in Colfax. Speed limit signs are still needed as are two arrows to be installed at Fifth Avenue to let all-terrain vehicle drivers know they must get off Highway 40 and take side streets at that point, Hovre said.
Gunnufson asked if the ATV/UTV club has enough money to cover the cost of installing the signs, which is estimated at a little over $1,000.
The ATV/UTV club bought signs for the village and for the Town of Colfax, Hovre noted.
Niggemann said she did not realize the signs could be installed yet since the state has not yet issued a sign permit.
Hovre said he was confident people could drive their ATVs/UTVs in Colfax.
“They can go right now. No problem,” he said.
As for the cost of installing the posts and signs, Hovre said he was fairly certain the ATV/UTV club would be able to cover the cost.
Margaret Burcham, village trustee, asked if there is any money left in the 2020 budget.
If the club needs more money, the village board can decide later about allocating village funds, Gunnufson said.
The Colfax Village Board approved taking no action at the December 14 meeting on the agenda item pertaining to paying the cost associated with installing the posts and signs.
State law requires ordinances that assess penalties to be published in a municipality’s official newspaper before they can go into effect.
The Colfax ATV/UTV ordinance was published in the Colfax Messenger in September.