(OOLITIC) - The Oolitic Town Council will consider passing an ordinance to allow ATVs to be used on town roads.
The meeting will be held on January 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Oolitic Town Hall.
Councilman Glen Gross is concerned that residents don't know the ordinance is going to be voted on. It is currently being drafted by the town's attorney Greg Pittman and he will present it to the council on January 30 for their consideration.
"The vehicles will have to be registered and once they are, they will be allowed to be driven on our town roadways," Gross says. "My concern is we don't have the police presence to monitor those that are not registered."
According to Sheriff Mike Branham, the Sheriff's Department will recognize a city/town ordinance as long as it is legally adopted but says he has not heard from Oolitic officials regarding a proposed change.
"However, we will continue to enforce Indiana law outside of city/town limits, taking into consideration county ordinances,"Sheriff Branham added. "Mr. Gross is correct that we will not enforce town ordinances, but that would only come into play for an ordinance that makes something illegal. An ordinance that allows something does not require enforcement action, just no action."
Sheriff Branham says he has not heard from Oolitic town officials regarding a proposed change.
"This is an important point since the Oolitic Town Marshal Office is short staffed and the Sheriff's Department covers all calls for service when Marshal Jon Jeffries is off duty," Sheriff Branham added.
Council President Johnny Spires says the ordinance, if passed, will follow along with the current county ordinace that has been had in place for years.
"They will not be running on the streets after dark, they must be registered," he added. "We have several people in the town that have spent a lot of money on their ATVs and side-by-side, but if they want to cross through Oolitic they currently can't."
Spears says those that want to travel on county roads from any direction are blocked when they hit the Oolitic town lines.
"They can't get from the east to the west or any direction," he added. "They are just stuck."
Gross, who lives in Rollings Acres Addition, is also concerned that many of his neighbor's won't be happy with the passing of the ordinance.
"If they don't know about it and don't have the option to voice their views it will get passed without anyone knowing we are even considering the action," Gross says. "I am sure not everyone in town wants to hear these vehicles at all hours... I am strongly against the passing of this ordinance and I am sure there are others that share that opinion."
Gross is asking citizens that have concern or that are for the passage of the ordinance to attend the Jan. 30th meeting at 6:30 pm at the Oolitic Town Hall.
"If most of the citizens are for the passage of the ordinance, that is how I will vote," Gross says. "This is not about me it is about what our residents want."
Spear added, they may not vote on the issue at the next meeting.
"We are just in the discussion stage and having the town attorney look into it for us," he added. "If and when we do pass it, it may be the February meeting...We have been approached by residents to look into it and that is what we are doing...I want residents to know they will have to obey the law and there will not be any ATVs or side-by-sides on the town streets after dark."
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