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September 25, 2020

9/15/2020 9:31:00 AM
City of Dodgeville discusses potential ATV route during ordinance meeting
Immediately following last week's Dodgeville's City Council meeting, the ordinance committee met to continue the discussion on potentially adding an all terrain vehicle (ATV) route for the City of Dodgeville.
With the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reevaluating regulations, local municipalities have been following suit and changing their ordinances allowing more ATV access.
In June, Ashley Schwarzenstein, Brandon Chappell and Steph McKeon met with the City of Dodgeville to discuss the idea of allowing the City of Dodgeville to consider opening an ATV route. At that time no action was taken other than meeting with the town of Dodgeville to discuss connecting residents of Dodgeville to other routes throughout Iowa County.
The Town of Dodgeville approved of their routes in August, however signs have not been posted, and the county has yet to approve the routes. Schwarzenstein, Chappell and McKeon have requested opening as much of the city of Dodgeville as possible.
"We'd love to see a route to major businesses in the area to entice residents of neighboring communities to come visit our community while bringing extra business to the community," Schwarzenstein said.
The only way to get through to Dodgeville is through county roads from other municipalities. Iowa County's regulations allow townships and cities to determine routes, followed by Iowa County Highway Commissioner Craig Hardy giving approval.
Mayor Todd Novak stated that the ATV route opening should be carried out on a trial basis. He noted some concerns about south downtown Dodgeville (Iowa Street), and mentioned that north Dodgeville would mostly likely be the best place to first open.
He also stated that it is also determining what municipalities have jurisdiction on which roads.
Dodgeville Police Chief David Bauer stated that he had two concerns.
"Being here for 30 years, I would say that Dodgeville is not necessarily like a lot of other communities," Bauer said. "Watching the posts showing up in Mineral Point and Lafayette County throughout the past couple weeks, I would urge you to do a referendum if you want the people here to open the streets up because this is going to fundamentally change what things look like in the City of Dodgeville."
The second concern Bauer mentioned was four lanes. Bauer stated that ATV's could not cross through four lanes and could not see any routes from the south without using the four lane. Novak stated that there are routes from the south that would use back roads instead of the four lane.
Based on complaints he has heard, Bauer also recommended not writing a proposal in advance of getting permission from the community.
Schwarzenstein stated in response that people are more likely to voice a complaint than they are to voice positive feedback.
McKeon said that the City of Mineral Point Police Department retrieved data showing the number of registered ATVs in the City of Mineral Point.
"It gave us a really good indication of how popular the sport really is," McKeon is. "I think Dodgeville could do the same."
Mayor Novak stated the best suggestion at this time is to consider looking at routes starting at the north end of Dodgeville so residents can get better used to it.
Dodgeville Lieutenant Brandon Wilhelm stated if the City of Dodgeville considers doing a trial run, that is being specific on rules. ATV ordinance information is expected to be sent to the ordinance committee, City Clerk Treasurer Lisa Riley, and the Dodgeville Police Department.
The committee recommended a route plan to be sent to Highway Commission Craig Hardy for feedback. The potential route plan is from Survey Road to County Road Q, to Military Ridge Road through Lands' End Lane to King Street. There is also a possibility of County YZ to access local businesses.
The route plan at this time has yet to be reviewed and will be discussed again in an upcoming issue of The Dodgeville Chronicle.

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