The Manawa Common Council approved snowmobile access to downtown at its Dec. 16 meeting.
By following a marked trail, snowmobiles may now drive to downtown Manawa from the south.
From the north, the trail will only go as far as Cruisin’ In Diner.
Manawa Police Chief David Walker said snowmobiles will not be able to cross the State Highway 22 bridge.
The Department of Transportation will not allow snowmobiles to travel on State 22. Therefore, they cannot access the bridge.
“There is no easy way to get to the bridge without using Highway 22,” Walker said.
The Winter Wolves Snowmobile Club had proposed a north-access route traveling from Dorothy Lane and south on the state highway across the bridge and into downtown Manawa. This route will not be allowed because the trail can only cross the highway, not travel on it.
“It is too bad there are so many obstacles from the north,” said Alderperson Ann Bonikowske.
Snowmobiles will be able to access to downtown businesses from the south.
The south trail runs on Robert Street and West Howard Street and provides access to gas stations, restaurants and the Rodeo Grounds.
The snowmobile club also presented an alternative south-access route that does not run past residential areas. According to club representative Tom Squires, the club is working on gathering permission from land owners for this preferred route.
Squires recommended that the council approve the previously submitted south-access route until the new route can be established.
The snowmobile trail access to Manawa was approved for a one-year probationary period with a 15 mph speed limit.
The speed limit was set for safety and to control noise.
Protection and welfare
At the recommendation of the Protection and Welfare Committee, the council discussed lowering the speed limit from 35 mph to 25 mph on County Road B to South Bridge Street.
The recommendation will be sent to the Waupaca County Highway Department for approval.
Walker noted that the 25 mph speed limit could be in effect prior to the reconstruction of County B in 2014.
The council agreed to table placing security cameras in Lindsay Park. According to Walker, the vandals are currently in the state’s judicial system.
“The city has better use for $9,000 rather than spending it on cameras right now,” he said.
Walker noted that the police will continue to monitor the situation.
Following a recommendation from the police chief, the council approved allowing a Department of Natural Resources office in the Manawa Municipal Building.
According to Walker, there will be a new DNR agent assigned to the area in 2014 and they would like to have a local office. Plans are for the agent to be in Manawa two days a week.
There will be no cost to the city for this office space.
“There are a lot of good reasons to move ahead with this,” Walker said. “It will be a good all-around arrangement.
He noted having a local agent in Manawa will make it be easier for the police department to work with the DNR, it will give citizens easier access to the agent, and it will bring more people into the city.
“I am all for anything we can do to increase service to the local public,” said Mayor John Smith.