The Wisconsin Dells Marathon planned for Oct. 24 in Adams County may not go on if the Dell Prairie Town Board doesn't approve use of its roads for the event.
At a meeting July 13, Dell Prairie Town Board Supervisor Dan Mitchell made a motion to deny a permit for the event and to create a town ordinance regarding use of town roads for similar events in the future.
"It doesn't benefit this town," Mitchell said, adding he could change his mind about allowing the marathon if the town is compensated for the use of the town roads by Adrenaline Sports Management, the for-profit company that is organizing the event.
The board did not vote, but Chairman Darrell Schulz said he would contact the town's attorney about creating an ordinance. Schulz said the ordinance could help the town decide in the future which events it would permit on its roads.
Mitchell said the event would inconvenience the public and raise questions about who would be responsible for the runners' safety.
Dell Prairie resident Rae Ann Schulz noted that in April participants in Riverfest, a fundraiser triathlon for the local Stewards of the Dells of the Wisconsin River, were allowed to use Dell Prairie roads and wondered why use of the roads was allowed for that event and not this one.
Adams County Board member Diane England attended the meeting and is also a member of the organization that held Riverfest. She said Riverfest was a fundraiser for a non-profit, and it had insurance for the event.
Schulz stressed that he wanted an ordinance in place to control such events, and that he wasn't ruling out all such events.
In a phone interview July 14, an ASM event director for the Wisconsin Dells Marathon, Bryan Ganek, said if the town doesn't approve use of its roads, the marathon can't happen.
"There's no where else to do it," he said.
Ganek said ASM had contacted the Adams County Sheriff's Department for help with traffic during the event, and is prepared to pay both the sheriff's department and the town of Dell Prairie for use of the roads.
The race is slated to start at 8 a.m., and Ganek said the runners will be spread out and be on the town roads for a couple hours at a time. Entire roads won't have to be shut down for 10 hour periods, he said. The race route has been designed to avoid placing runners on County B or Highway 13.
ASM expects between 1,000 and 1,500 runners to participate, he added.
He also said ASM is talking with St. Clare Hospital to have the event staffed with medical personnel in case of emergencies for which the town wouldn't be liable.
Although ASM is a for-profit company, Ganek said one non-profit organization called Team Salute, which helps soldiers overseas, will be volunteering and receiving donations in return from ASM.
He also said other organizations in the Dells area are encouraged to provide volunteers in exchange for donations from ASM, too.
"We are a for-profit company so obviously we're doing this (marathon) to gain some revenue. At the same time we're trying to bring business to the areas. We're trying to get people involved in something they've never done there before. And that's kind of why we contacted the Dells is because we've never seen a marathon or long distance run happen there before. And we think it's a good idea to bring something to these areas that they've never seen before. Hopefully a lot of people will want to get involved in it," he said.
In other business, the town took the following action:
-- Approved a five-year Kilbourn Fire Department contract that calls for the town to pay an additional 1 percent of the operating budget for each of the next five years.
-- Approved a bartender's license for Mary Platt.
-- Tabled action on an ordinance permitting golf carts on subdivision roads.
-- Discussed the state's plans for Highway 13.