Meeting planned to finalize off-road-vehicle pilot project

·2 min read

Woodstock’s off-road-vehicle ad hoc committee will host a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 13, to iron out the final details of a planned pilot project giving ATV and quad drivers access to town streets.

Acting CEO Andrew Garnett explained the meeting to council members during his CAO update at Woodstock’s regular council session on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

On Dec. 15, council voted 5-2 to a motion instructing town staff to prepare for a maximum eight-week pilot project to begin April 15.

Garnett described Thursday’s meeting as a central part of those preparations, saying its crucial function would be to develop wording for the proposed bylaw.

“It’s time-sensitive,” said Garnett, explaining the bylaw must be developed, approved and passed for the pilot project to begin.

He said he wants to get the proposed bylaw before a council-in-committee session as soon as possible. He added the bylaw also needs provincial approval.

“It’ll be on us to make sure it’s given to them and make sure it is received back in time for three readings over two council meetings,” Garnett said.

He said Coun. Trina Jones, a representative from the local ATV club and others, will attend the meeting.

While Jones will represent council’s interest, Mayor Art Slipp said any councillor could attend.

Jones asked fellow councillors to provide her with questions or concerns they wanted to be raised at the meeting, directing her attention specifically to Councillors Mark Rogers and Randy Leonard, who voted against the motion on Dec. 15.

Rogers, who opposed giving off-road riders access to streets without sidewalks at the Dec. 15 meeting, still questions providing ATV drivers broad access to town streets.

“I think the pilot project should open up the streets they need to get from one side to the other and see how that goes before we open the whole town,” he said.

Leonard noted the bylaw would create a pilot project only, which will inform council whether the idea will work.

Garnett said council must decide on factors to evaluate the pilot project.

“How do we determine if it’s successful or not?”

He said some issues would be public-driven through feedback, phone calls and communication.

Garnett said police could also provide feedback based on their experience on the streets with off-road riders and other drivers.

“But council needs the means to determine if it’s a success or failure,” he said.

Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun

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