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County puts ATV trail plans on hold

The contentious issue of a 70-mile designated ATV trail in Becker County was tabled for 30 days Tuesday, after the Becker County Board heard from a roomful of residents who oppose the plan.

Two weeks ago, the board voted 4-1, with Commissioner Larry Knutson dissenting, to approve an agreement with the Minnesota DNR that would have allowed the county to be reimbursed in stages as the project proceeded.

But the board later that day rescinded its approval because the item had been added late to the county board agenda and had not been publicized prior to the meeting.

Township officials are largely opposed to the pilot project, which is to be built on county tax-forfeited land and funded with $300,000 in state money.

On Tuesday the Becker County Board voted to table the issue until Aug. 22.

An attempt by Knutson to table it for 90 days failed, largely because Commissioner Barry Nelson believed a delay that long would "kill" the project.

Nelson -- who supports the concept of a designated ATV trail, but only if there is support for it -- said he wants a chance to assess the true level of tribal and township support on the matter.

For a full report, see the Detroit Lakes Tribune on Sunday.