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NEWS STORIES

Judge Rules for County in St. Germain Snowmobile Trail SuitSubmitted: 02/20/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


ST. GERMAIN - A judge ruled Vilas County can build a snowmobile trail on the right of way on a St. Germain couple's property.

Tom and Karen Martens filed a lawsuit last fall to stop the trail from crossing their land. The Martens said the statute allowing for trails on right of ways doesn't apply to their land because it was an easement. They also cited safety concerns.

A judge ruled Tuesday the statute does allow for the trail. That means if the Martens don't appeal within 45 days the county can begin construction.

"By the time we go through the permit process again and renewing the contracts, we're probably looking at some time early this spring. We'll hopefully have the trail in place for the 2013-2014 snowmobile year," says Dale Mayo, Vilas County Recreation Administrator.

Tom Martens says they're disappointed in the decision. He and Karen believe if a snowmobile club member lived in their home, the trail would not be considered in that location.



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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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