Mixed reviews in Brown County over proposed off-highway vehicle - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Mixed reviews in Brown County over proposed off-highway vehicle park

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Brown County, IL - A plan that could bring more money and more visitors to Brown County is creating some controversy.  At a meeting Monday night, residents listened to the state's plan to build an off-highway vehicle trail at the Buckhorn unit of Siloam Springs State Park.

Monday's meeting was filled with residents wanting to know more about how this would impact the area.  While some were in favor of the changes, there were others who don't want to see the trail near the area.

Some of the concerns residents had over the proposed trail were torn up grass, impact on wildlife and noise after the Illinois Department of Natural Resources showcased its plan to county officials.  Glenn Sanders says he loves the idea of having the trail in the area, but he says Buckhorn isn't the right place.

"They can't put this one this far from a hospital," Sanders said.  "For Brown County Ambulance Service to respond, it's a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes to get up to the site.  And it's going to take Air Evac to get called from Quincy." 

Amy Madigan with Illinois Trails Outreach explained to the crowd what would be done and how it would impact the land.  Madigan said the department looked at numerous sights like Buckhorn for six months.
   
"We have looked at about 18 sights, existing DNR sights," Madigan said.  "Buckhorn was elevated because of its uses and where it was located through our very extensive review process."

There were many others who said they loved the idea of having the park in Buckhorn.  Gerald Lierly said with the state making many riders pay fees for their ATVs, he thinks it's only fair they should build this park. 

"We feel like, I don't want to say left out, but no place to ride," Lierly said.  "We have no problem of buying stickers or titles, but we feel like we need to have a place to ride in the area."

Madigan said this is just an informational meeting, and nothing has been decided at this point.  However, if this is the site the parties agree on, officials say they hope to start construction by April.
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