Huntington City Council approved a resolution to regulate the use of off highway vehicles on the city streets. During the Feb. 18 meeting, the council held a public hearing to gather input from the city's residents concerning the adoption of a policy.
Mayor Jackie Wilson opened the hearing with the explanation that the county commissioners have been working diligently to designate OHV routes on county roads and access routes are needed in the cities. The council has studied the ordinances in place in Orangeville, Emery and Ferron and during a workshop session on Jan. 27, came up with a proposal for Huntington they felt would work.
Before the hearing was opened up to comments from the city residents, Mark H. Williams clarified a few points. He said, "In my capacity as SEUOHVC president, access management team member and chairman of the state parks OHV section, I have worked closely with the county commissioners for the past three months. We have attempted to designate roads inside the cities and towns that can be used by OHV riders to allow access to the county roads from inside the city limits. Trail systems are being formed and the people who use those systems also need access to businesses in the towns along the routes. This proposal will allow the city and the county law enforcement to better regulate and patrol the city."
County Commissioner Drew Sitterud added, "The county's guidelines are not set in stone either, and we will work from the standpoint of safety."
The first comment from the resident came from a parent who was concerned that one of the designated roads was too narrow to accommodate OHVs, cars and children.
Another resident pointed out that there is no access to the city's two restaurants with the present road designations.
Concerns about the wording of the ordinance were brought up also. After some discussion, clarification was made to the section concerning wearing of helmets. It was reworded to state that operators and passengers on OHVs, under the age of 18, must wear helmets.
Williams informed the council that the OHV club funds can be used to help the city in the signing of the routes that are selected.
When all concerns were heard, the council closed the public hearing and moved back into city council meeting. Final wording and street designations were made and the council voted to approved the resolution with the changes made.
Commissioner Sitterud and Mayor Wilson agreed that education will be the key to making the transitions into this ordinance. The public must be made aware of the resolution and the designated roads.