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Spirit Lake approves ATV ordinance – Council discussed issue on Friday

By Staff | Dec 26, 2007

SPIRIT LAKE–After a number of concerns by area all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts, the Spirit Lake City Council on Friday held firm on its ATV ordinance as written as it had the third consideration and final approval of the ordinance.

A number of ATV operators had objected to the seasonal provision and hours of operation, citing the fact that ATVs are quieter than many motorcycles.

Since the regular council meeting date would have fallen on Dec. 25, the meeting was held earlier to make accommodation for the holidays.

The ordinance, which is based on a similar ordinance approved in Estherville, prohibits ATV operation on Highways 9 and 71 except at intersections. They will be prohibited from operating between 11 p.m.-6 a.m. except for emergency or loading or unloading from a transport trailer.

In addition, they may not be operated on snowmobile trails except where designated. They will not be allowed either on an operating railroad right-of-way and may cross a railroad right-of-way only at an established crossing.

Other restrictions include:

n ATVs may only be operated on private property with express consent of the owner.

n They will be prohibited from sidewalks except for snow removal or maintenance.

n ATVs will be prohibited from city parks and other land.

n Operators must have a valid motor vehicle operator’s license.

n Mufflers are required.

n Traffic devices must be observed.

n Speed limits will be limited to 35 miles per hour.

n Lighted headlamps and taillights will be required.

n No ATV may be left unattended on public property while the motor is running or with keys in the ignition switch.

n Owners or operators must prove financial responsibility.

n Registration must be current.

The ordinance will not go into effect until a legal notice is published Jan. 2.

In other business Friday, the council added Center Lake Drive and 23rd Street from Zenith to Peoria to the 2008 Lighting Design Services Contract.

The council set a public hearing for Jan. 8 on a proposal to enter into an agreement with Lakes Community Lake Trust to convey city property at 2302 Hill Ave.

The oath of office was given to returning council members Kevin Bice and Jerry Harbst and new council member Jeff Thee and to the new mayor Blain Andera.

Engineer Rick Hopper gave an estimate for repairs on DD 22. Hopper said the cost would be $15,000 to the sides and another $7,500 to place rock on the ditch bottom.

Contact Michael Tidemann at (712) 362-2622 or mtidemann@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com