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September 21, 2019

8/30/2019 11:21:00 AM
Mineral Point Town Board makes update to ATV/UTV ordinance
With ATV/UTV ordinances being a major discussion topic, neighboring municipalities are starting to respond.
Mineral Point Township had their regularly scheduled board meeting recently to discuss an ATV ordinance set in place. Board Chairman Gary Sullivan stated individuals reached out to the township last year about opening the roads. While the township did not see any issues, he informed everyone at the meeting that Iowa County Highway Commission Craig Hardy is requesting an ordinance to be set in place.
Highlights of the ordinance include:
-Eligible roads are highways and streets within the Town of Mineral Point, regardless of the township having jurisdiction. Exceptions to this are any federal or state highways with a speed limit greater than 35 mph.
-The town chairman or supervisor can close down any town road at any time.
-All ATV/UTVs must follow posted speed limits
-All ATV/UTVs must have functional headlights, taillights, and brake lights. Open intoxicants are prohibited and hours of operation are prohibited from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
There were quite a few additional people in attendance to have a discussion about approving the ordinance, with some for it and some against it.
Doug Ferrell stated that the Town of Waldwick had a meeting last Monday night, and there were some people that were on the fence about enstating an ordinance.
"It's not like we're trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes," Ferrell said. "We just want to put people's mind at ease."
Bob Clark stated that safety, and respect for property were concerns that the town of Waldwick had. He stated that Tim Straka had people on his land taking his UTV. One of the individuals on the recreational vehicle sustained an injury and they responded by suing Straka.
"He lost a lot of money to his insurance company because the keys were left in the mule," Clark said. "He's concerned about people on his property because of that."
Sullivan stated that there must be facts to back up that claim that people on UTVs will break into one's property.
Seth Ziegler added that he and his wife had been on the trails many times and he hadn't seen any problems with people that operate ATV/UTVs.
"I'm not naive to say that there isn't a very small percentage of people that do cause issues," Ziegler said. "I think that everyone understands that it is a privilege and they police themselves well. If there is somebody that is getting out of line, it's cut short pretty quick."
Town board supervisor Everett Lindsey felt it best that the ordinance be reviewed once every six months for a year, for any damages to property or to air any concerns.
"If there are concerns, we need to hear about them," Lindsey said.
Mineral Point Township passed the ATV/UTV ordinance to all township roads. Although a revision was being added to the ordinance to review it at six months and again at 12 months for any issues that may arise. Road routes will need to be signed with proper signage before ATV/UTVs can use them. County roads within the Mineral Point township will need to be submitted to the TSC (traffic safety committee) for consideration by November 1st 2019.
The next part of the story will analyze what other Iowa County municipalities have in place for their ATV/UTV ordinances.

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