Soo Line Pit ordinance now in effect

The a map provided of the Soo Line Pits at the Carlton County Board meeting. Areas shown in purple are rest areas,  green are open riding,  pink are restricted ares, blue are parking areas and orange show trail intersections. 


  Trail rider groups and local homeowners concerned about noise from disrespectful ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts that literally roar into the access road of the Moose Lake Old Soo Line Pit mostly approved of the ordinance passed unanimously by the Carlton County Board on July 27 at their Adjourned Session. About fifteen came to give their input on the issue.

  Eric Senarighi of the Carlton County Riders ATV Club addressed the County Board, offering to pay for a portable decibel reader to check machines that have loud mufflers. Guidelines now call for motorized ATVs and dirt bikes to have a decibel range of no higher than 96 decibels. Such a machine costs about $2000.

  “I have been in constant contact with Land Commissioner Greg Bernu this last two months sharing ideas,’ Senarighi explained. “We as ATV users cannot enforce this ordinance but we can explain to violators what the ordinance rules are. There is now an ordinance to enforce.”

  Jeff Firman of the same club said he had helped the Carlton County Land Department plant seedlings on the sides of the Soo Line Trail to in time provide a sound barrier for the local homeowners along Old County Road 8. Several addressed how the sharp growth of ATV and side by side riders brings lots of people to recreate in the Moose Lake area and has a positive economic impact in the local business places.

  The access to the Pit area is planned to have three gates and run the access trail along the north side of the rail grade. The rail grade will buffer the noise. Fencing will funnel the traffic along the designated access points.

  Sheriff Lake said she was aware of all the complaints and encourages locals to use 911 when they see a problem. Response time for a deputy to get to a trail ride incident can be lengthy and often is too late. 

  Planning for the new jail continues although the State Legislature has not given Carlton County the authority to levy ½ % sales tax to pay for the project or given its blessing for a women’s program in the new jail while they are incarcerated. This would be the first of its type in the State.

  Consultant Mike Griebel has been working on several options for a corrections program in the new facility. An Architectural/Engineering firm will be hired to figure the costs to build each size and design of the particular proposal. A $10,000 cost ceiling was agreed to by the County Board.

  “In this type of costly project the taxpayers must be satisfied that we checked out all options before making our choice,” said Commissioner Mark Thell.

  County Coordinator Dennis Genereau asked for a clear direction from the Board to have a proposed Probation Committee meet separately from the Jail Study Committee. Commissioner Proulx asked who are on the committee and what is the purpose of this group.

  Sheriff Lake pointed out that the earlier, lengthy Jail Study had suggested Carlton County study the role of the Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC) and its effectiveness for Carlton County needs. A lot of money is paid to ARC (11% of the programming costs), and she commented, “We have to find out what programming they can provide for probation services and what are the specific costs.”

  This committee will be a standing committee and Commissioner Dick Brenner will serve on it.

  In other County news, Land Commissioner Bernu has been working with a group that is completing a trail called the North Country Trail across into Wisconsin. A lease was granted on Tax Forfeit land in Wrenshall Township needed to complete the project in this area. The trail is six foot wide and open for all uses outside motorized vehicles.

  As a point of information a new St. Louis River State Forest is being established on old MPL holdings along the St. Louis, White Face, and Cloquet Rivers and in the Thomson Dam area. It will be a multi-use wildlife management area and the State will pay PILT money (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) to the local affected governments.

  Governor Walz issued mandatory mask wearing this last weekend. The State has asked and the Board agreed to have a similarly worded mask requirement in our area.

  The August 11 Regular County Board meeting will be held in the Tamarack Room of the Health and Human Services building in Cloquet at 8:30 AM.


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