After three different readings across multiple weeks and plenty of public input on both sides of the issue, the Lee County Board of Supervisors officially approved the new county ATV/UTV ordinance.
The ordinance will allow riders over the age of 18 with the correct documentation to ride their vehicles on county gravel roads from 4 AM to 10 PM.
Several members of the community once again voice opinions against the ordinance.
Al Nelson addressed a previous comment from Supervisor Rich Harlow about people wanting to go to a restaurant on their ATV or UTV, he asked Harlow if he knew how many places someone could get on a gravel road.
“If you’re coming from Van Buren County, you better know your way,” Nelson said. “There was so much concern and Mr. Harlow obviously does not know where he could go or where he can’t.”
Others in attendance said they did in fact know where to go.
Harlow also announced that he was changing his vote from previous meetings to be in agreement with the other members of the board because of advice he received earlier in day.
“I think whenever we can, for what we do for you folks, we need to try to do it in unity and be good sports about it, so I’m going to vote yes today,” Harlow said.
Supervisor Rick Larkin said he had spoken with some individuals about consumer protection with young riders and riders on paved roads. After doing research through their website, he felt the county had met any objections in their ordinance.
“I just wanted to make that public. I just wanted people to know that I did check it out,” Larkin said.
Nelson again brought up the issue of people riding on his property and how they have not been caught.
Board Chairman Gary Folluo urged him to continue to call the sheriff’s office and eventually someone would get in trouble for it.
“Every person who runs a stop sign or breaks the law doesn’t get caught, but with persistence, they will get caught,” Folluo said.
Pat Worley said the people who Nelson was talking about will continue doing what they are with or without the ordinance.
“They don’t care about the law or not. They’re down there doing it now so if you pass the law, you know, they’re going to do it regardless,” Worley said.
The ordinance passed with a unanimous vote and stickers and county tags will be available for pickup beginning on Monday.
Proof of insurance is needed at that time and pickup can be taken care of at the Lee County Recorder’s Office in Fort Madison.