Council votes to open City to ATV traffic

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New ATV routes do NOT take effect until further notice from Cumberland Police Chief Rick Rieper

The February City Council meeting opened to a full house on Tuesday night, February 5th. When the council got to the public comment, it became apparent what items of interest the public was there to speak about.
First on their mind was the amending of the ordinance which designates the ATV routes through the City of Cumberland. Representatives of the ATV Club,  community , and the Cumberland Advocate all spoke in favor of changes to the ordinance which would allow better access to the businesses and services that our community has to offer. Mary Metzger, a resident of Hines Lakeview Drive, spoke in opposition to changes to the ordinance. She did not wish for their street to be included in opening of the streets to ATV traffic,  feeling that the roadway was too narrow as is to support car traffic, ATV traffic, and the pedestrian traffic that also uses the roadway since there are no sidewalks on Hines Lakeview Drive.
When the motion came up for a vote, Councilman Foster Bridger took the opportunity to speak. In the past Bridger has expressed opposition to opening the ATV routes through residential areas in Cumberland, however, through the years as we have expanded the routes,  the fears he had about ATVs and the community coexisting have been resolved. According to Police Chief Rick Rieper, there has been only  one incident since they opened more of the residential areas to ATV traffic.  Because of that, Bridger stated that the proposed ordinance changes now have his support.
The change to the ordinance would open all City Streets in Cumberland to ATV traffic, with some restrictions.  The exceptions are:
• Elm Street (Highways 48/63) from the Westerly City limits to 2nd Ave. (Main Street);
• Second Ave. from Elm St. to Superior Ave.;
• Superior Ave. between 2nd Ave. and Arcade Ave.;
• Superior Avenue from Nedvidek St. to the northerly city limit; and
• All roadways lying within Eagle Point including Island Avenue and any other roadways within such park. (See map on page 12).  The council voted to unanimously pass the changes.
It should be noted that this is just the first step in the process, however.  The ATV Club, County, and DOT all have to weigh in and give their approval to the changes as well.  The routes will not be open until they have all signed off on the plan.  Chief Rieper stressed strongly that  ATV operators must continue to use the routes already in effect until he issues an announcement that the new routes are open.
The other item which garnered public comment was the discussion about possibly changing the size/configuration of the City Council. Longtime resident Al Bock spoke stating that he likes the way the council is set up, but would like to see a more proactive effort to fill council vacancies, when members retire or move and need to be replaced, either by appointment or election.
The discussion on the council make up included such suggestions as reducing the ward representatives from two to one per ward and creating Alderman-at-Large positions. The issue was sent to committee for further discussion.
There was another discussion item pertaining to the ordinance governing property maintenance and accumulating junk.   The changes hope to better define the issue and offer stronger avenues for enforcement of the ordinance.  This was also sent back to committee for refinement.
Other items approved by the council included:
• Updates to the employees handbook;
• CBS Squared was chosen to do the engineering work for the utility extension to the new hospital site.  The work to be paid for by the Hospital. The council also approved CBS’s engineering services for future USDA funding; and
• Updates and improvements to Lift Stations 9 and 15.
The next regular meeting of the council is set for March 5th at 7:00 pm at City Hall.

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Cumberland Advocate

375 2nd Ave, PO Box 637
Cumberland, WI 54829
Phone: (715) 822-4469
Hours:  8:30 AM–4:30 PM M-F

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