Greetings Friends of the Rustic Road

Regretfully, we have some disturbing news to share. The Town of Plum Lake Board is in the process of approving an ATV route that includes a section of the Rustic Road. Things have been happening on an accelerated pace pursuant to a process engineered to exclude the input of many in the community.

1.    Town Board Meeting on June 11th - At a meeting scheduled for this Tuesday, June 11th at 5:30 pm, the Town Board is expected to approve an ATV route that will connect the Sayner Pub, Hillside and Stillwaters on the following route:  driving on County N the entire way from Sayner to County K in Star Lake and proceeding west on County K (the Rustic Road) until Stillwaters. This route has not been publicly announced but the Town Chair advised Libby of the route Thursday. There are numerous problems with what is contemplated: (i) inconsistent with purpose and nature of Rustic Roads and Rustic Road regulations; (ii) ignores safety issues of allowing ATVs on narrow, windy and hilly road; (iii) no enforcement mechanism to prevent ATVs from proceeding further on the Rustic Road or traveling off of the contemplated route; and (iv) substantial problems with the process used.

 

2.    How Did We Get to This Point – The key events leading to the expected approval of the ATV route at Tuesday’s meeting are summarized in the bullets below:

 


3.     Issues Not Adequately Considered by the Town Board

Opening up Town and County roads to ATV use within Plum Lake Township is an important issue that will have long-term impacts on our community. We are concerned that the Town’s consideration of this issue was purposely rushed and has ignored important issues raised by the community. For example, has the Town Board properly considered the following:



The fines generated from hiring a Town Constable on a part-time basis could be used to pay for the position and ensure that our roads are safer. It is irresponsible to knowingly create an unsafe condition and take no action to address it.


 

The input of another important constituency was completely ignored - - property owners. There are roughly 1750 property owners in Plum Lake. The 170 ATV supporters participating in the Poll represent less than 10% of our broader community. Property owners now feel their input is not being solicited or considered on important issues. As many people at the last two Town Board meetings noted, the Town Board welcomes the input of non-elector property owners when it involves supporting the $4 million grant proposal being pursued by the Town but completely ignores their input with respect to the ATV issue. It is true that only electors can vote on Town matters, but the “informal poll” was not a Town vote. It seems only reasonable that the Town Board would consider the input of non-elector property owners. A great deal was said at the Town Board meeting about bringing the community together and eliminating division. Ignoring/insulting property owners who pay a majority of the property taxes that support our Town is hardly bringing our Town together and eliminating divisiveness.


4.    What Can We Do?

5.        What’s Next?


We know this is a lot to consider. I welcome your input and suggestions.

 

Best,


Doug & Libby Scott

www.saveourrusticroad.com

libbypscott@gmail.com

dougscott57law@gmail.com

ATVs DO NOT BELONG ON THE RUSTIC ROAD

The Plum Lake Town Board is reconsidering the issue of ATV use on Town and County highways and roads within Plum Lake, including the Rustic Road.  Regardless of whether you are generally supportive or opposed to allowing ATV use on such roads, ATVs should not be allowed on the Rustic Road for important legal, safety, liability and other reasons.

TOWN MEETING ON JUNE 4th - The Town Board is having another meeting on June 4th which will include addressing the ATV issue. I urge everyone to show up and express their personal views on ATV use on Plum Lake Town Roads. Regardless of whether you are pro-ATV or opposed to ATVs generally, to express the view that  ATV's should not be allowed on the Rustic Road.

Update on Status of Road and Vegetation Maintenance- 6/1/2024

Almost two years ago, the the Save our Rustic Road group and County representatives developed a plan for vegetation management, road repair and improvement of the Rustic Road (the "Plan"). Although the County Highway Committee refused to formally approve or commit to comply with the Plan, Troy Schalinske expressed his commitment to the plan with the following comment: “Let me prove the doubters wrong, as I deliver on each of my commitments.”


In April 2024, the Highway Commissioner provided an update on the status of timing and status of projects impacting the Rustic Road. All are consistent with the Plan, although the timing of some of the work has slipped significantly.



We will continue to closely monitor vegetation and road maintenance and improvements on the Rustic Road and keep the community informed.

Save Our Rustic Road
STATUS UPDATE SUMMARY- 1/20/2023

Over the last year, Representatives of the Save our Rustic Road group and County representatives have had extensive discussions on Vilas County’s treatment of Rustic Road 60, County Highway K between Star Lake and Boulder Junction (the “Rustic Road”). These discussions have resulted in a mutually developed plan for vegetation management, road repair and road improvement of the Rustic Road going forward.

 

Despite our best efforts, the County Highway Committee refused to enter into a formal agreement with Save Our Rustic Road or to formally approve the plan. Nevertheless, the Vilas County Highway Commissioner Troy Schalinske has assured the Save Our Rustic Road group that he is committed to managing the Rustic Road in accordance with the mutually-developed Rustic Road management plan.

 

Although we had hoped to get formal approval of the plan by the Highway Committee or a more unambiguous commitment, we remain optimistic that our community’s collective efforts have produced a highly positive result, protecting the beauty of this truly unique road. Troy Schalinske expressed his commitment to the plan with the following comment: “Let me prove the doubters wrong, as I deliver on each of my commitments.”

 

Rest assured, the Save Our Rustic Road group and the community will be monitoring activity on the Rustic Road closely. We look forward to celebrating each commitment upheld by the Highway Department, but are ready to rekindle community support, our public-relations campaign and possibly legal efforts if things deviate from the mutually developed plan.