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ATV drivers may get more places to ride in Douglas County

Douglas County commissioners form committee to look into changing ordinances.

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The Douglas County Courthouse in Alexandria. (Echo Press file photo)

A plan to change Douglas County ordinances that would allow ATVs riders to drive on more roads is making headway.

At the Tuesday, Oct. 19, regular board meeting, Douglas County commissioners approved forming a committee that will take a look at the ordinances so that changes can be made.

Committee members include commissioners Jerry Rapp and Keith Englund; Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen; Tim Erickson and Brad Bonk from Douglas County Public Works; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, Mitch Lawler; and two members of Runestone Off-Road ATV Riders, Todd Powers and Earl Anderson.

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Jerry Rapp

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At the Oct. 5 meeting, Powers asked the commissioners if they could “open up the county” for ATV riding because riding on county roads is off limits.

At the same meeting, Lawler said, “It’s a tough county to ride in,” but added that the county can change the ordinances.

That is why the committee was formed and the ordinances are being studied.

Both Rapp and Englund believe people should be able to ride their ATVs in more areas of the county and they said they’re looking forward to working with the others in the committee to make some changes.

In other action

The county commissioners approved the following other items:

  • Donations to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, including $200 from Jeanne Johnson to be used for fitness room equipment and $300 from the Knights of Columbus for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

  • Donation of $2,800 from Brandon Manor Homes to be used at Chippewa Park.

  • Appointment of Rhonda Fuchs as the interim Veterans Service Office department head while Jake Turner is on a six-month leave of absence.

  • Amendment to a conditional use permit for Central Lakes Storage in Carlos Township. The amendment will allow the owner to expand the self-storage business with two multi-unit self-storage buildings.

  • Conditional use permit to Christopher Dokka Jr. and Sheraya Felton to allow the operation of a dog grooming business in Brandon Township.

  • Preliminary plat of Nor Homestead first addition, a one-lot plat on Lake Andrew in Lake Mary Township.

  • Resolution establishing tax-forfeited land classifications, DNR approval of the classifications and sale of non-conservation lands.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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