LA CROSSE, Wisc. (WKBT) - Sparta is the Bicycling capital of America and Wisconsin Representatives are securing funds to repair the town's trails.
On Tuesday, the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance took up the Natural Resources and DNR section of the 2019-2021 biennial state budget. Included as part of the omnibus motion approved by the committee was a provision pushed for by Representative Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc), Representative Loren Oldenburg (R-Viroqua), and Representative Nancy VanderMeer (R-Tomah), that allows DNR funds to be used for trail repairs for the Elroy-Sparta Trail and the 400 State Trail.
The provision provides $100,000 in segregated funds and requires the DNR to make repairs to the portion of the Elroy-Sparta Trail that runs between the City of Elroy and the Village of Norwalk, and the portion of the 400 State Trail that runs between the Villages of La Valle and Union Center.
Former Governor Tommy Thompson was also instrumental in securing the funding to repair these portions of the trail that were desecrated as a result of area flooding last summer.
Representatives Kurtz, Oldenburg, and VanderMeer all represent constituencies in or near where the flood damage occurred to the trails in Monroe and Juneau Counties, and they released the following statements:
"The completion of the repairs to these trails is important as they are economic drivers for our smaller communities and I am glad to learn that our motion was included in the budget," Kurtz said.
"It's good to see these improvements are going to be made to the Sparta-Elroy trail after last years flooding. These improvements are very important to the tourism industry in our area," Oldenburg shared.
"I could not be more pleased that we were able to secure this funding. Local residents and business owners have been outstanding in their efforts to organize coalitions locally to help get the trails fixed. They understand how big of a deal this is to Sparta, Monroe County, and the region. The trails are a huge driver of tourism to our region. People from all across the state and the country come every summer to enjoy the trails and our beautiful part of the state. I'm ecstatic that we were able to secure some state resources to help," VanderMeer said.
Once the committee completes its work the budget will be sent to the full Assembly and Senate before being sent to the Governor.
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