Popular recreational road closing By Tom Zelechowski
Anyone who enjoys the outdoors in the Jennings area needs to know that the town is giving away a town road.
Geimer Road provides direct access into the center of more than 1,000 acres of forest crop and 200 acres of state land along the Wolf River. By giving this road back to the landowners surrounding it, they will be allowing them to put gates up on each end and lock us all out of the public lands in the middle.
The town is using the excuse that if someone builds back there in the future, it will cost them too much money to repair the road. The fact is the land isn’t even for sale, and may never be. They also use the excuse that nothing will be landlocked; we can walk in from the blacktop or use a different road which is private and gated at each end (and has in the past been locked the night before deer season).
This road, if kept at a minimum level of repair like it used to be, is capable of bringing in much needed funds to the town in the form of state aid from gas tax and vehicle registration, which are used to fund local roads. The town is currently collecting this tax on a portion of the road, and rather than keeping the road up, they continue to let it deteriorate, while a large portion of the public are using it. This road also brings in business to our town, especially throughout the fall and summer, when hunters, berry pickers and sightseers use the road heavily. It could also possibly be a leg of a recreational trail system connecting our town with the Crandon and Pelican Lake areas in the future. Loss of this road hurts everyone, and helps a couple private landowners who want to put up gates to make it harder for the public to use public lands.
Call our town board members:
• Jim Sharon at (715) 487-5473
• Chuck Moore at (715) 487-5415
• Roger Stephens at (715) 487-6033
Also, we have requested a special meeting for Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., to reconsider this issue. Watch the postings for the specific date and time. All who are interested need to attend. We have to stop this closure, as it sets a precedent for future land grabs.
Tom Zelechowski, Schoepke