/ Letters / Follow up letter to ‘A grandmother’s vow’

Follow up letter to ‘A grandmother’s vow’

April 17, 2020

To the Editor:

Update to “A grandmother’s vow,” a letter published in the Aug. 20, 2019 edition of The Lakeland Times.

Open letter to Minocqua board chairman and board of supervisors and citizens:

My name is Sue Kent. On the morning of Jan 22, 2019, our family’s lives changed forever because an inadequately marked gate, constructed of a single metal 6-inch pipe and cables, located below an icy hill, completely blocked South Stone Lake Road, just west of Pine Lake Road. On that day my grandson, Trey Kent, son of my daughter Kay, crashed into the gate while riding his snowmobile and died. The crash destroyed the gate. And now, the gate is back up one year later, with no warning signs of the gate’s presence ahead or “road closed” signs to warn motorists, snowmobilers, or ATV riders coming to the Town of Minocqua or anyone living there.

In the summer, ATVs can turn off Pine Lake Road onto South Stone Lake Road, drive a short way the enter Pine Lake Road again, north of where they entered in the south or drive vice versa. But in the winter the hired plows only plow South Stone Road to the east, the north route to Pine Lake Road, leaving the south route to Pine Lake Road unplowed. The east path of South Stone Lake Road, going through private land, is gated off by land owner so no one can get through and no warnings are posted by the land owner or the Town of Minocqua. This is a deadly problem that no one has solved.

Motorists, snowmobilers, ATV riders can take Highway 8, turn right on Willow Road, Squirrel Lake Road, to South Stone Lake Road, and will have to turn around or crash into an inadequately marked gate blocking the road after traveling miles. Although my GPS routing device says you can go from Pine Lake Road through South Stone Lake Road to Squirrel Lake Road, Willow Lane or Highway 8 or Highway 39, it is impossible because the gate blocks South Stone Lake Road. Following GPS directions, a driver of any vehicle could try this route, resulting in inconvenience of turning around or possibly crashing into the inadequately marked gate.

Our grief is great because neither the Town of Minocqua or the land owner has done anything to prevent another accident from happening again to any person traveling on South Stone Lake Road with any type of vehicle.

The town of Minocqua says it is not responsible for the deadly section of South Stone Lake Road. The Town of Minocqua said it is only responsible to name the road, put a street sign up naming it South Stone Lake, and zone it private. It is not responsible to ensure it is safe. It does not have to put a sign saying it is a private road, “do not enter,” or that it is a closed road.

The Town of Minocqua has not implemented any ordinances to have this dangerous and deadly road problem prevented. Unsafe roads, that are named, should be posted with signs needed to make them safe to travel in the Town of Minocqua. We cannot believe the DNR and the Town of Minocqua have not taken the necessary steps to make this area safe.

Also, I would like to mention towers for cellphones are definitely needed in the Town of Minocqua area. If any type of emergency happened on a snowmobile, ATV, or car, an ambulance cannot be called. This is dangerous and deadly because there are snowmobile trails in the area and cellphones can’t be used to call for help. The Town of Minocqua promotes snowmobile activity to tourist so it should ensure they are able to reach help if necessary.

In addition the snowmobile trails need to be marked better. There have been accidents where snowmobiler’s have driven off the trail and have crashed into trees because of a lack of signs to keep them on the trail.

Citizens: Call your Town of Minocqua chairman about unsafe named roads in the Town of Minocqua. Voice your concern for the safety of motorists, snowmobilers, and ATV riders so they can trust named roads in Minocqua will be safe and not find a deadly surprise of an unmarked gate. This deadly accident of Trey Kent could have been prevented had South Stone Lake Road been marked with warning signs that were needed.

Please call in memory of Trey Kent and for anyone traveling or living in the Town of Minocqua. Don’t let this problem go on and don’t give up until it is safe to travel in the Town of Minocqua with any type of vehicle.

Call your head chairman of the Town of Minocqua Mark H. 1-715-356-5296. There are other supervisors that need to know of this deadly road and there are many other roads like South Stone Lake Road according to the DNR personnel Tim Ebert. The roads are not marked properly and no cellphone can be used to call for emergencies.

Trey Kent is sincerely missed by: Susan Kent, grandmother and all other family members

Kay McKenzie, mom

Shala Hill, sister

Craig Karl and many other very close friends


Sue Kent

Wisconsin Rapids


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