By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - An off-road vehicle (ORV) trail is being proposed through Iron Mountain and was recently discussed during an informational meeting of the Iron Mountain Planning Commission.
City Manager Jordan Stanchina reported to the city council about the public input received at the Planning Commission meeting, especially from residents living on the 100 block of Lehman Avenue.
The consensus after the meeting was to have the city administration, residents, tourism director and members of the Sportsmen's Off-Road Vehicle Association (SORVA) take a look at alternative routes, Stanchina said.
"A connecting link through Iron Mountain would open the city up to tourism dollars from ORVs," he added.
The proposed ORV trail would connect Lehman Avenue to Traders Mine Road.
Concern about an ORV trail so close to their homes was expressed during the Planning Commission meeting by Ossie Weinert of 1600 N. Milwaukee Ave.; Will and Helen Sauld of 115 Lehman Ave.; Harlan and Orice Walters of 211 Lehman Ave.; Joan Jouppi of 1408 N. Milwaukee; Jeannie Legault of 112 Lehman Ave.; Barbara Pann of 100 Kewaskum and Steve Branz of 110 Lehman Ave.
"They were concerned about the speed at which ORVs travel and the noise they make. Steve Branz expressed interest in providing an easement through his property. This would provide the ORVs a trail that would bypass the 100 block of Lehman Avenue. This idea will be explored as it seemed to be a more favorable option to those in attendance," Stanchina said in a memo to the council.
He added that sportsmen's representatives Skip Schultz and Tony Demboski both spoke at the Planning Commission meeting stating that they were in favor of the proposed trails and the economic benefits it would bring to Iron Mountain.
The Upper Peninsula Off Road Vehicle Trail Development Association (UPORVTDA) is looking at an interconnecting ORV trail system in the U.P.
Right now ATVs are prohibited on Michigan state highways which makes Iron Mountain fairly isolated from Wisconsin, or even from Crystal Falls. The Wisconsin trails all interconnect and connect to the Western U.P. trail system.
In related news, the Department of Natural Resources is working on opening the snowmobile bridget near U.S. 2/141 to ATVs. And this proposed route through Iron Mountain would enable that to happen.
Linda Lobeck's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.