MARINETTE — The Marinette County Parks director announced several new events and updates Wednesday at the Infrastructure Committee meeting.

Marinette County Assistant Facilities and Parks Director, Beverley Ruether, reported on several new improvements and events by Marinette County’s Park’s Department. “Long Slide Falls, from the parking lot in, has been completely excavated and cleared. The original plan was to put steps in down the hillside, but I think we are going to let it sit and see what it looks like next year,” said Ruether. “It is much wider and much more comfortable to hike down the hill now, and we are also looking into a viewing platform.”

Ruether continued: “We are going to be installing an accessible trail in Veterans park. We’re working on expanding the parking area at four-foot falls, and added some boardwalk planks in some of the muddier areas.” Ruether added that parks is also looking at adding some new campsites near the Menominee river and adding new signs that show that camping is allowed in that area.

Finally, Ruether addressed a new program put on by Parks at Twin Bridge Campgrounds. “Starting the first weekend of October, Marinette County is going to be putting on our first Halloween weekend camping. We’re going to do some pumpkin carving, costumes and trick or treating. Several other campgrounds in other parts of the state that have done this have waiting lists for years to get into it, It usually goes over really well.”

County Administrator John Lefebvre gave updates on possible new campsites and trails in Dunbar. The proposed location would be near Airport Road and the Dunbar Sportsman Club. Lefebvre’s proposed map of the new site shows 25 possible new campsites. The new trails would go around and between the campsites, and Lefebvre also mentioned that a bathhouse could eventually be built near the center of the sites.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about ‘why Marinette County is doing this’ and ‘what is this going to do for our community?’ Many individuals are skeptical that this would bring any tourism to their small community, but on the other hand many members of the community said that this is long overdue,” said Lefebvre. According Lefebvre, several community members have informed him that people are already camping at the park-n-ride near the site over the weekends, so the demand is there.

“Right now, the Dunbar Town Board needs to look at their zoning ordinances and they need to determine if this new site would comply with the current zoning ordinances,” Lefebvre said. According to Lefebvre, this campground is still in its very early stages and is not likely to begin development until Dunbar gives it the green light.

In another matter, Niagara Senior Citizens LTD has announced the end of their organization. A mixture of financial stresses, staffing problems and decreased need in the community were sighted as reasons for the closing. In preparation for the closure, the organization has decided to end its lease of the building at 569 Washington Ave., Niagara, which they lease from the county. The group requested the Infrastructure Committee to terminate their lease effective May 31, 2021. The termination was granted, with several members of the committee saying that while the closure is unfortunate, it is necessary.

A proposed OHV trail near Shrine Road in the Town of Goodman was voted down by the committee, due to multiple complaints from residents.

Supervisor Bill Stankevich spoke of several complaints he has received saying: “On the outset I thought this was a great idea, if the location was dry arid place with a bunch of rocks it would be better, but this is pristine land, and no one wants the trail there. People are not happy about this idea at all.”

Supervisor Al Sauld has also received several complaints, “I’ve been down there three or four times and talked to a lot of people in Goodman and they were really against it. One of the comments that really stuck out was what one of the property owners said to me. He said: ‘Would you want this next to your home?’ and thinking about that, my answer would be ‘hell no, I wouldn’t want it.”

Because of the overwhelmingly negative response from residents the proposed trail was unanimously voted down.