HUNTSVILLE – The ball is back in the Algonquin West ATV Club’s court.
Huntsville’s public infrastructure and protective services committee discussed on July 3 a proposal by the club to let all-terrain vehicles ride on select municipal roads. Though committee members supported the pilot project, there was some hesitation about riders using an unopened road allowance.
Town councillors have been mulling over the proposal since January.
Coun. Det Schumacher, committee chair, said staff noted the primary concern was not whether to allow the vehicles on municipal roads but rather what happens when they get to the end of the proposed route and hit an unopened road allowance.
“Our dilemma is, do we upgrade (the unopened road allowance) for public traffic? Well, we don’t want to go into that cost,” said Schumacher. “The only other way is to do like the snowmobilers, who get permits through their association to use unopened road allowances as they exist, so then there is no liability to the town.”
He said such permits were not part of the all-terrain vehicle club’s original proposal, so committee members held off on a decision until staff has an opportunity to speak with the club’s representatives.
The committee hosted a public meeting about the pilot project on June 5.
Several property owners along the proposed route objected to the proposal either in person or by written submission. Club members and other supporters of the proposal also attended.
Schumacher said the committee members have taken the comments made at the public meeting into consideration.
“The discussion by some councillors was that ATVs are here to stay, people have a right to use them,” he said.