Smiths Falls looking to improve ATV routes through town
ATVs were on the agenda at Monday’s Smiths Falls’ committee of the whole meeting.
Director of public works and utilities Troy Dunlop updated council on a request from the Rideau Lakes ATV club to designate a trail through the town to connect to other regional trail systems, especially the recently dedicated Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail.
Dunlop reviewed the history of discussions with the club that began in March of 2017 that would require ATVs to have access to 1.5 km of municipal roadways.
Club president Rick Gilfillen spoke to indicate his group would cover the costs of insurance, trail maintenance and signage. He added that he was fielding at least 2 calls a week from the US from interested ATV enthusiasts asking about trail connections through the town.
Dunlop noted that the recently-passed Ontario bill 107 would require municipalities to create bylaws to restrict ATV use, rather than the previous model which would have seen them automatically banned in certain areas unless legislation was created to permit them.
In the end council chose the staff supported option of including the Rideau Lakes ATV club in future strategic trail planning.
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