ATV Trail still on hold.

County tables sponsorship for Off-Highway Trail system

Lyon County has tabled a motion to serve as the sponsoring organization for a proposed OHV (Off-Highway-Vehicle) Trail System on land owned by Gary Thooft near Russell.
Once approved by the county, an application will be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources for review, which could take several months.
While the county would be the trail administrator, the Minnesota Valley ATV Riders Club would maintain and operate the trail. The board didn’t shut the door on the trail system, but asked for more clarification before making the approval.
“The total cost of 2018 is estimated at $9,080 and over $6,552 would be reimbursed by a grant. The difference (to be paid by the county) is $2,558,” said County Environmental Officer Roger Schroeder.
Schroeder indicated funds are need to establish and maintain the trail system.
“Of the $2,550 left for us to pay, some of that is paying ourselves?” asked Commissioner Charlie Sanow.
Because Lyon County will do some of the land maintenance, Schroeder answered, “yes, that is true.”
“It’s a small price to bring a new line of recreation into Lyon County,” said Commissioner Gary Crowley.
“The trail is out there, it’s set to go. It’s not a lot of money. If it doesn’t go, we don’t have to renew it,” said Commissioner Crowley.
“The county has spent a lot of funds for other kinds of recreation in Lyon County,” said the commissioner. “If we open up the trail, it will bring a lot of people from other areas because it brings people who like to travel around and do that kind of thing,” Commissioner Crowley added.
“I understand people like to ride ATV’s and I’m not against ATV’s, but I’m not sure we’ll get that many people to come in. The anticipation is assuming that we are going to get this grant,” said Commissioner Rick Anderson.
“I don’t see any obstacles to this grant,” said Schroeder.
“I am not ready to vote on it because we need several things clarified,” said Commissioner Steve Ritter.
The board considered insurance applications in case there was an injury on the trail. “We don’t own it,” said Commissioner Anderson. “So we are not liable,” stated Commissioner Crowley.

Basically the board needs clarification on the insurance issues.
“We don’t want this to drag on too long — no longer than the second meeting in January,” said Commissioner Anderson.

IN OTHER action the board:
•Met new Marshall City Administrator Sharon Hanson. She began by saying, “It’s nice to be in a friendly meeting place today.”
“I’m looking forward to working with the county. I already have had a good time conversing with the county administrator (Loren Stomberg).  It’s good to get on the same page,” she added.
•Commissioners appreciated the fact the 57 miles of latex striping across county roads came in under budget. The budget was $50,000 and the final payment was $47,074.16. They also noted the quality of the work was excellent. They approved the payment to Traffic Marketing Service, Inc. of Maple Lake.
•Reviewed the state auditor’s report of the 2016 audit of the county budget.
The general fund balance of $12,060,229 was $352,490 over the fund balance from one year ago.
Because there were no major capital projects such as the government center renovation project from a year ago, the capital projects fund was down over $5 million. The total fund balance was $23,441,624.
•Approved Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company of Kansas City to continue offering solid waste engineering services to Lyon County for 2018 at a cost of $92,500.
Environmental Director Roger Schroeder said there are $12,000 of funds not used in the past year and these will be rolled over into the new year.
In addition, Lyon County provides services to Yellow Medicine County up to 300 hours of service at $41.50 per hour for recycling collection. That contract will continue in 2018.

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