Copies of a proposed Page County ordinance regarding the registration and operation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and off-road Utility Vehicles (UTV) are now available on the county website and at the office of the Page County Auditor.
The Page County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on the proposed ordinance at 9 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Page County Courthouse in Clarinda. If approved the new ordinance would take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
During its meeting Oct. 12, the Board of Supervisors approved a summary of the ordinance to be published along with a required legal notice of the public hearing. During the hearing local citizens will be able to ask questions about the ordinance and express their views on its potential approval.
Following the public hearing, the Board of Supervisors will consider the approval of the first reading of the ordinance. A total of three readings are needed for the ordinance to be enacted, but the board does have the option to waive at least one of the readings depending on the response of the public.
Supervisor Chairperson Chuck Morris said discussions on the ordinance were held by the board during its Oct. 5 meeting. Additional discussions were also held following that meeting with Page County Recorder Brenda Esaias, Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer and Page County Attorney Carl Sonksen.
Under Iowa state law, the use of ATVs on roadways is only permitted for agricultural uses. However, counties may issue permits for recreational use of the vehicles. Therefore, the board discussed options to keep vehicles used for agricultural purposes exempt from paying the registration and permit fees associated with the recreational use of ATVs and UTVs.
“The language we have in the ordinance right now is to ask those who are exempt to come in and register for a free sticker so it’s easier for law enforcement,” Morris said.
However, since owners are not required by law to register the vehicles for agricultural use, Esaias proposed only requiring people using the vehicles for recreational purposes to register them and get a permit.
“To me, in talking it through with Brenda, it does make a lot of sense. And from a law enforcement standpoint, if they don’t see a sticker they know it’s ag use,” Morris said.
Esaias said she also wanted to speak with Palmer to determine if the decals showing the vehicles are registered for recreational use need to be reflective. Esaias said she is currently considering using a 3-inch by 5-inch decals so they would be easily visible for law enforcement.
The board agreed to adjust the language of the ordinance to make the recommendation made by Esaias. The board then approved the summary of the ordinance to be published as part of the legal notice for the public hearing.
“I would like to take a moment to thank everybody for their work. This has been a process and it has taken us longer than I hoped, but I think we’ve come out with a good proposal,” Morris said.
In other business Tuesday, the board approved rescinding a resolution on modifications to the Farm to Market System in Page County. A new resolution was then approved that added a 1.5 mile section of Teak Avenue to the Farm to Market System.
Page County Engineer J.D. King said the original map for the Farm to Market System included a 1.5 mile square of roads. By removing one of those sections on 300th Street, King said the county would be able to fill a 1.5 mile gap in the system on Teak Avenue.
“It was a local road that was changed to a proposed Farm to Market route. We can substitute the (section of) 300th and turn it into Teak Avenue. It makes better sense from a network standpoint,” King said.
“This is making this stretch of road we were just talking about Farm to Market, which will make it available for money to possibly, someday, hard surface that,” Supervisor Jacob Holmes said.
The Board of Supervisors also approved a record retention policy for the county. Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen said the policy would further define how long county officials would be required to keep specific records before disposing of them.