The Winchester Town Board voted last week to put on hold any more planning for a bike trail in the area.
Bike Trails, Inc. has been planning the approximately 3-mile long bike path with portions running along the west side of County Highway W from its junction with Hwy. J crosses back and forth at points and ends where the WinMan Bike Trail begins.
However, town chairman Rick Clem said at last week's special town board meeting that contrary to what the town had been led to believe by members of Bike Trails, Inc., it's the town - not the county - the organization needs to be dealing with.
He said Vilas County highway commissioner Nick Scholtes had been doing research on the matter and came to that conclusion.
And then there's a contract with several stipulations that would, essentially, bind the town to several commitments regarding construction of a bike path.
"That is not what we were told," Clem said. "So, I called Bike Inc. a little upset and told them this was not discussed with us. I told them I think we were misled."
Supervisor Steve Budnik said the contract provisions in question would hold true whether or not the trail was private or public.
"Wouldn't make no difference," Clem said.
His motion was until the town's attorney, Greg Harrold, meets with representatives of Bike Inc., and all the questions are answered to the town board's satisfaction, there would be no more discussion about a bike trail in Winchester.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at email@example.com.