Opinion: Colton woman continues to monitor ATV issues in Town of Colton
To the Editor:
Two weeks ago a Letter to you didn’t “set things straight” regarding the ATV issue. That letter stated:“...there have been no Town plans to open roads to ATVs in the Town of Colton any more that there is in the near future” and didn’t acknowledge Town records.
Two failed attempts occurred with the Town Board passing local laws to open the local roads to ATV traffic. Local Law #2-1999 is found in Board minutes. After experiencing ATV trespass Ernest Hutchins, Stark Road, went to court over the illegal Local Law. In 2004 the Court decision forced the repeal of the Town Law.
In the County, private and farmlands continued to be inundated by ATVs. In 2007 the County Legislature created a committee housed with the Soil and Water Conservation District. I cannot justify using ATV and ‘soil and water conservation’ in the same sentence but understand the logic for trails that cross County forestlands being managed by the Board. Part of the trail opened with sections of the Multi-use ATV Trail later added on private, SLC and NYS Forest lands.
When a section opened on Raquette Valley Fish and Game Club, the issue of highway use surfaced again in Colton. Local Law #2-2013 passed by the Board and opened Town roads. An Article 78 was filed that October to force the repeal of that law. This action was taken because of the illegal opening on SH56 and Cold Brook Drive. Existing record-of-law from the Hutchins case and other NYS cases supported the Article 78 and the Town Law was rescinded.
As to other misinformation in the Letter, before the trails opened this summer signs were moved from Fish and Game Club parking to the new lot by Sno-Skippers. Fish and Game posted ‘no-ATV- parking’ to give member and event access. Now ATV traffic exits to the left onto Cold Brook Drive before turning left just before the Little Cold Brook bridge and curve to access the trail.
In the past the residents of Cold Brook Drive have petitioned for changes in the speed limit on the road.
I signed the petition that was presented to the Town Board by Kevin Boyce. No action was taken by the Board. Another search of Board records?
This observer will continue to monitor events that affect the Town’s citizens and/or highway safety.
Mary S. Rutley