- It seems Vilas County residents want to stick to silent sports.
This week, the county board voted down a resolution to allow ATV's on parts of County Highway A in Phelps.
Currently, no one can ride ATV's on Vilas County roads.
Phelps residents hoped to change that.
But after 14 months of work by Phelps town leaders, it will stay that way.
"One of the reasons County Highway A works is good visibility, wide roads, et cetera," Snook says.
Phelps Town Chairman Colin Snook and other leaders felt this section of County Highway A in Phelps would be a perfect trial road for ATV's.
The Vilas County board disagrees. The board voted against a resolution to allow ATV's on a little more than six miles of road in Phelps.
"How you measure the success of the trial period was subject to debate," Vilas County Board Chairman Steve Favorite says. "There was no measuring bar, what determines the criteria of whether or not it's successful? I guess two years from now the county and town will just sit down and look at each other and say 'was it successful?'"
Some argued it'll help connect Forest County and Vilas County.
"That was one of the arguments for," Favorite says. "It's a strong argument is that it's a connecting argument. To connect to Forest County on County Chunk Highway A."
Snook says it could help Phelps and other surrounding cities or towns.
"Long-term it will give us one more tool in our toolbox of something that we can offer to entice people to come to Phelps and spend money and do business here," Snook says.
Vilas County Board Chairman Steve Favorite says ATV supporters can look at what snowmobilers and bicyclists have done to push for trails.
But he thinks ATVs face an uphill battle in Vilas County.
"A lot of the public that are still against ATV's," Favorite says. "They're pro silent sports."
Snook understands but says a willingness to compromise is necessary.
"We need economic development here, ATV's might be a piece of that, they might not, but you don't know until you explore it."