Hundreds turn out for ATV meeting

New bylaw permits ATVs on private property but keeps them off trail

An sometimes rowdy question period followed formal delegations on the ATV issue Monday night.

About 200 members of the ATV community and their supporters turned out Monday night at a meeting to hear town council approval a new off-road vehicle bylaw.

The reworked bylaw permits the use of off-road vehicles on private property in town, but continues to keep the KVR Trail, within town boundaries, off limits.

After two delegations from local residents representing ATVers, and an at times rowdy question period, the bylaw received three readings.

Mayor Frank Armitage promised to strike a committee to work with all trail user groups and find alternatives for motorized users.

“This isn’t a debate,” Armitage told the crowd. “What we want to do is explore alternatives. We will make sure that every group with a vested interest in the trail will be represented.”

At least 80 people crowded into the council chambers, and filled the adjacent lobby. Another 120 protesters milled about on Vermillion Avenue and about three-dozen pick up trucks lined the street, all loaded with off-road vehicles.

Many people attended with lawn chairs, small children and snacks, and set up camp in Veterans’ Square.

Following the meeting Armitage said he was impressed with the turnout.

“Any time people express their desire to see things happen I admire it. I admire it and I’m very much looking forward to the dialogue.

Last week local activist Ed Vermette present town hall with a petition including signatures from 730 local residents and 44 businesses, and a second petition signed by 1,160 people from outside of town. The petitions asked for the proposed ATV bylaw to be repealed.

FOR THE COMPLETE STORY SEE THIS WEEK’S SPOTLIGHT