You Ask, We Investigate: Beach Access Battle
TWO RIVERS, Wis.--When times are stressful, Michelle Minaker and her son take the path to peace.
"It's just a wonderful place to recreate and enjoy. It's unfortunate we have a difficulty like this. When we moved here we were disappointed to find this beach access was uncomfortable to use,” Minaker said.
Minaker says the biggest problem is a fence that blocks the public path to get to the beach. "We want to continue using it. We have already established at the council level with the city attorney that the full 60 foot from this side and that way is public access,” Minaker said.
The public piece of land sits next to a private homeowner's property.Two Rivers city manager Greg Buckley tells us the city allowed the homeowner to put up the fence years ago through a right of way privilege agreement. “Which is an agreement provided for Wisconsin statues that can be used at the discretion of the local community to allow a private property owner to place encroachments into a public right away,” City Manager Greg Buckley said.
Buckley showed us this map highlighting other ways neighbors could go to the beach."There's not a lot of good that comes from highlighting a public access point that takes you to a stretch of beach that's 60 feet wide and has private property on either side of it,” Buckley said.
We tried to talk to the homeowner, but her uncle told us she wasn’t home and wouldn't give us her phone number. "This is just ridiculous. this needs to get straightened out,” Minaker said.
As Minaker finds peace at the beach, she also looks for a light of hope in a resolution. “We need to uphold the law and public trust doctrine that all these lands are for everyone,” Minaker said.