jhwentworth

ATVs on public roads issues

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Today's Union Leader has a story on the three North Country towns voting on ATV bans on public roads. This story has been widely covered, but Colebrook seems to be going a step beyond a simple ATV ban.

"

Colebrook voters will also weigh funding the temporary position of recreation trails supervisor. That person’s duties will include discussing with landowners “possible ATV use of snowmobile trails; working as a facilitator to bring landowners and members of the ATV community together to seek solutions in places known and referred to as ‘problem areas…’” and to seek funding for work on trails and bridges. The board of selectmen would set the supervisor’s salary and he or she would be required to make a presentation at Town Meeting."

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I read an article a couple weeks back concerning this issue....sorry I forget where. 

As I understood it, it was more of the vacation home owner variety as opposed to residents rooted in the area. 

Ive only read that one article, don’t know all the information regarding issues at hand...however imo this could potentially cripple northern towns who rely on these seasonal activities to sustain living 

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I read this as an attempt at a creative compromise proposal of sorts. The one article would ban use on all town roads. The administrator would work with the club's and land owners to find alternative trails. Presumably that might eventually include some "non problem" town roads. Would also report at town meetings. Presumably, there would be more visibility by the town at large into club activities, tax payer concerns, challenges and visversa.

The Colebrook club has come out against both articles.

My thoughts are that an overall ban is a bad idea, but increased transparency and participation by the town is probably a good idea.

Compromise has become a dirty word these days, but it's probably the only path to an amenable solution.

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The ATV ban bills failed in all three towns.

http://www.colbsent.com/breakingnews.php

As for the Colebrook "recreation trails supervisor" position, it died too.

Metallak ATV Club president Craig Washburn opened discussion on Article 27, which proposed the Recreation Trails Supervisor position, by stating, "I'd like to know why the taxpayers are going to pay for something I've been doing 40 years for free." Julie Moran pointed out this person would be neutral and work as a mediator "so we can address the issues residents are angry about."

Mr. Placy said the board views this as a move that would help the club, but Terry Rosi disagreed with the need for a $10,000 position. "I think this can be worked out between both sides with some transparency," he said. The measure failed, nullifying the next article that would have funded the position, and the 7 p.m. meeting adjourned at 10:55.

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