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Posted on February 9, 2015 at 9:00 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
There is nothing more personally frustrating to me as the illegal actions of a small number of snowmobile operators who are traveling on posted town land causing damage, and also traveling on private property causing lawn and driveway damage.
The town law that was passed five years ago has helped alleviate some problems, but I continue to see and receive emails from residents about snowmobile travel along the Route 104 bike path, in North Ponds Park, the Gosnell Big Field and other town-owned open space lands and the Hojack Trial. These properties are all clearly marked “No motorized vehicles allowed”. I cannot understand why the snowmobile operators cannot obey posted signs and stay off of these properties.
Town Law, Section 185-4A, clearly states, “Snowmobiles shall not be operated on State, County or Town highways or streets except as permitted under Article 25 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law of State of New York and the rules and regulations of the Office Parks, Recreation and Historic preservation of the State of New York as applicable.”
I have received a number of telephone calls and emails from upset residents informing me that their lawns were damaged by a few snowmobile operators who apparently think that it is okay to trespass on other people’s property. It would be interesting to see how these vandals would react if someone damaged their property. I guarantee that they would be on the phone calling the authorities within minutes.
The main concern and complaint is that snowmobile operators are driving on residents’ private property 30-35 feet into their front yards. This is causing damage to flower beds, small trees and driveways.
Also, under Town Law, Section 185-11 please be aware the, “No parent or guardian shall authorize or knowingly permit his or her child or ward who is under the age of 16-years to operate a snowmobile in violations of any provision of this chapter, or any rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.”
Unfortunately, the most serious repercussion would be for the Town Board to enact a local law banning all non-emergency snowmobiles in the Town of Webster.
I am very aware that such a law would punish every snowmobile operator for the actions of a few irresponsible individuals. However, it is apparent that numerous warnings and posted signs are not working. I have personally requested that there be a more pro-active effort by the Webster Police Department to issue tickets to offenders and to tow sleds that have repeat violations.
Legitimate snowmobile clubs are also being asked to assist by alerting the authorities if their members spot anyone trespassing on private or posted property.
The last thing the Town Board wants to do is enact a law banning the use of snowmobiles in Webster. Nevertheless, it appears that unless firm action is taken, more and more property damage will occur and this is unacceptable.
Please note that Town Hall will be closed on Monday, February 16th for Presidents’ Day. We will reopen for business on Tuesday, February 17th.
If you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at email@example.com
Ronald W. Nesbitt