ATV ordinance tabled, sent back to committee
The Washington County Board of Supervisors tabled the third and final reading of the proposed ordinance to allow the limited use of all-terrain and/or off-road utility vehicles on portions of Washington County roadways. The decision came during the weekly supervisors’ meeting this morning.
The suggestion to do so came from county engineer Jacob Thorius, who said he was speaking as a private citizen about making a change to the ordinance. He said that changing the ordinance now would save the taxpayers’ cost to publish the changes once they are finalized.
The change concerns allowing ATVs to travel on the shoulder of paved county roads. During last week’s meeting, Jan. 21, the supervisors found that the proposed ordinance allowed only residents who live on paved county roads to drive on the shoulder to the nearest gravel road.
Last week, Supervisor Jack Seward Jr. said he didn’t realize the ordinance was going to be limited on paved roads to just people who live on a county road.
“I thought if you were out in the country going back and forth across the Riverside Road or up and down different places where you had to go, it would be all right,” Seward said.
This morning, Seward said that the reason an ordinance needs to go through three readings is to make sure it is really the ordinance the county wants. He made the motion to table the third reading and to return the ordinance to the committee previously appointed to consider the revisions discussed during the public board of supervisors meeting.
Supervisor Stan Stoops said he would like to back up and regroup to get the ordinance right.
Supervisor Richard Young said that that proposed legislation in the Iowa Legislature, if passed, would allow ATV drivers to travel on the shoulders of county paved roads. That legislation is in a Senate committee.
Changing the ordinance will require a public hearing and three readings. The earliest weekly meeting during which the public hearing can be held is Feb. 11. The third reading could be held Feb. 25.
County resident Steve Messinger said that it’s kind of cold to be driving an ATV, so giving the ordinance more time will help it be done right.