ATVs may get road clearance
By LISA MEYER TRIGG, Editor
A request by a group of citizens to allow all-terrain vehicle riding on county roads could be up for approval in time for fall hunting season.
Several people in support of the local ordinance asked Putnam County Commissioners Gene Beck, Jim Baird and Kristina Warren to allow off-road vehicles to be ridden on local roads for agricultural, hunting or fishing activities.
Keith Hutcheson and Jerry Cox said some Indiana counties allow ATVs to be ridden on county roads, and they would like to see licensed and insured drivers in Putnam County given that same opportunities.
"They do it in Parke County," Hutcheson said.
Cox has approached the commissioners in the past with the request, and he returned with several supporters and a model ordinance that had been reviewed by the group.
Many people already ride ATVs on county roads, Hutcheson said, and he does it to reach his cattle. But it is done illegally now.
"I just don't want to break the law," Hutcheson said.
The commissioners asked about ATVs using some heavily traveled county roads, such as Manhattan Road. That could be hazardous, they pointed out.
Hutcheson agreed, but noted that bicyclists already travel the county roads, and they are less visible.
The ordinance does require any ATV on a county road to have a safety flag attached as an added warning for other motorists.
In reviewing the proposed ordinance, attorney Scott Hoff noted that some changes would have to be made for it to be in line with state law.
The commissioners agreed to consider the issue again in August, and noted that it would have to be legally advertised for public input.
In other business, the commissioners learned that the cost of the Crowe's Bridge replacement project has increased in cost from $1.3 million to $1.7 million according to the Indiana Department of Transpor-tation. The original project from nine years ago was figured at $800,000. Since then, an additional $925,000 in funding has been added.
They also heard a request from Dr. Don Brattain to make appointments to the Putnam County Cemetery Board. He asked for Richard Lyon and Marilyn Clearwaters to be appointed. The commissioners tabled the request to check if there are political requirements for the board.
The next regular session of the commissioners is set for Monday, Aug. 6 in the courthouse annex. The regular session will begin at 6 p.m., with a special session to review budgets starting at 4:30 p.m.
The next regular session of the commissioners is set for Monday, Aug. 6 in the courthouse annex.
The regular session will begin at 6 p.m., with a special session to review budgets starting at 4:30 p.m.