County mulls ATV park

Deb Gau via    Marshall, Minn.

It could be another reason for people to enjoy the outdoors in Lyon County, county commissioners said. The proposal: to open more than five miles of existing trails for all-terrain vehicles to public use.
The idea got some positive feedback from commissioners during their regular meeting on Tuesday.
However, they also said they wanted to hold off on acting on the proposal, at least until local city and township government could also weigh in on it.
Lyon County Environmental Administrator Roger Schroeder gave an informational presentation about a possible ATV park on the edge of the city of Russell. Schroeder said he had been approached by a landowner who has built up about 5.5 miles of ATV trail, about possibly opening the trails up for public use.
Schroeder said it could be possible for the county to partner with the landowner and an area ATV club to create an ATV park. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers a grant-in-aid cost sharing program that helps maintain off-road vehicle trails. The grant-in-aid would help reimburse maintenance costs for the trails, Schroeder said. Participating in the program would involve the county, or a city or township, partnering with a recreational group or club.
“It’s possible we could come back before the board in June or July,” with a more detailed proposal for the county commissioners, Schroeder said.
The proposed trails near Russell would not have a fee for use, Schroeder said. However, the state does have an off-highway vehicle permit fee.
Commissioners had some positive feedback for the idea, but they had questions as well. Commissioner Rick Anderson asked if the city of Russell had been approached about the idea. It would make sense to let the city or the local township decide if it wanted to be a fiscal agent for the trails, he said.
Schroeder said he would meet with local government about the proposal. He said he was also waiting to hear back from an area ATV club about participating in a trail partnership in Russell.