Proposed ATV Trail Site Causes Neighborhood Concern

By KBJR News 1

June 20, 2012 Updated Jun 20, 2012 at 7:32 AM CDT

Sago Township (Northland's NewsCenter) - The grand opening of part of the Northwoods ATV Trail was held earlier this month. However, there are still portions of the trail that have yet to be ccmpleted. One of those sections is causing controversy among nearby residents.

Some residents are opposed to having a trail so close to their homes.

"That's why we live out here. It's quiet, it's peaceful and we'd like it to stay that way," said resident Cedric Meixell.

Meixell is afraid that the ATVs will disrupt the peace of his community. A portion of the Northwood's ATV trail is proposed to be built near his home. He says that he and nearly all of his neighbors are upset about the proposed trail.

"This has been a peaceful community for years and it's really tough to open it wide open," said resident Don Korhonan.

Community concerns include everything from the ATVs causing noise and dust, to safety issues regarding the driving of the ATVs themselves. Both of which, County Commissioner Leo Trunt says the Itasca County Board is working with the community to resolve.

"We look at being less disruptive to the homes, finding a route that has homes that aren't so close to the roads," he said, "We try to stay off the county roads whenever we can because that's really not where the ATVs want to go. They want to go in the woods, they want to go on trails."

Trunt says that the ATV trail will benefit the community by bringing in business. Neighbors say that they're all for the trail, just as long as it's not in their backyard.

"I can see the benefit," said Korhonan, "We just need to put the trail in the right place."

Commissioner Trunt says that there are several possible locations for the ATV trail site. He says there isn't a definite date yet as to when the final location will be determined.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.