Webber Township considers closing roads to ATVs
Supervisor says some roads are badly torn up
BALDWIN -- The Webber Township Board of Trustees is considering closing public roads to ATV traffic.
Township Supervisor Ernie Wagatzke said at the board meeting May 14, that ATV riders are tearing up the roads so much that it is difficult to drive on them without 4-wheel drive.
"We are looking at closures to ATVs for 2021, due to abuse of the roads" Wogatzke said. "Some of them are so badly torn up, they are impassable, and the road commission is having to go and repair them."
Wagtzke said opening up the roads to ATVs was done as a privilege, to give riders easier access to the trail heads, but if they continue to tear up those roads, the township will no longer allow them access.
"We opened them up because the trailheads were getting so clogged up with riders trying to access the trails," he said. ""If we have to close them, riders will be allowed on designated areas only, and will have to trailer the ATV to the trailhead.
"The rule is they can't go over 25 miles per hour on public roads, but there is no way they can tear them up that way going 25 miles an hour," he continued. "They are going too fast, they are doing donuts and they are going up on private property and tearing that up."
Wogatzke said the board would like to get input from the residents regarding closing the roads to ATVs, before they make a decision.
"We want to get the word out, let them know if the roads continue to be torn up, we will close them to ATVs," he continued. "I know they bring money into the community, but they don't bring enough to pay for the road repairs."
In other business, the township board is looking for volunteers to form a Community Advisory Committee to work with township officials to complete community development projects throughout the township.
The township was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the People Fund grant program sponsored by Great Lakes Energy, to be used for clean up and beautification projects, including trash removal, demolition of properties and bringing buildings into compliance with township ordinances.
Sandra Clarke, grant writer for the township, told the board she would be working on additional grant funding for community development projects.
"If we can show what we were able to accomplish with the grant funds, and the impact on our community, that will go along way toward receiving additional grants," Clarke said. "We will make this one go as far as we can, and take pictures to show the before and after. We can show in the next grant proposal what we were able to do."
Anyone interested in serving on the Community Advisory Committee may contact the township clerk at 231- 745-3471.
In addition, the township board voted to cancel the Get Outdoors Day, scheduled for June 6, due to the extended order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
"We will tentatively plan to hold the event later in the summer, depending on what happens," Wogatzke said.