ATV rule put on hold

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Enthusiasts of all terrain vehicles will have to wait a while longer before they can legally ride their ATVs on Putnam County roads.

A proposed ordinance is still in the revision process before being voted upon by the Putnam County Commissioners.

Keith Hutcheson and a large group of ATV supporters have asked for the ordinance so they can legally ride around the county.

State law currently allows ATVs to be ridden along the side of county roads, with only two wheels into the right-of-way and the other two on the shoulder of the road. And state highways can only be crossed at a 90-degree angle.

The original ordinance proposed by Hutcheson called for the allowing ATVs to be ridden for hunting, fishing and agricultural uses. But at the advice of county attorney Scott Hoff, the commissioners agreed to strike such restrictions.

Commissioners Gene Beck, Kristina Warren and Jim Baird also agreed not to limit which roads can be traveled by ATVs. They noted that there are some heavily traveled roads that might be a problem, however.

"I think it ought to be allowed on all county roads and forget about it," Beck said.

Warren agreed, adding, "We can make changes in the future if it becomes a problem."

Hoff said he would present a draft of the revised ordinance to the commissioners for consideration at their Aug. 20 regular session. If approved, the ordinance would have to be advertised twice and would go into effect 30 days later.

In other business, the commissioners:

* Approved a contract with Mid America Elevators for courthouse elevator maintenance at a cost of $145 per month, pending a change of the contract from three years to five years.

* Tabled discussion of the Edgelea Subdivision drainage issues until the Aug. 20 commissioners' meeting.

* Learned that a schedule is needed for the financing of the new Emergency Operations Center. The county council must vote on approval of a bond ordinance,then bids will be sought for approval to start construction on the building.

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