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Board ponders ATVs on roadways

By Staff | Aug 11, 2013

The one thing drivers can count on in the summer is road construction.

County Engineer John McDonald attended the Faribault County Board meeting on Tuesday to give an update on some of the road construction.

But, the topic of roads in the county led the commissioners to an impromptu discussion on ATV laws in the county.

“What are the laws here on driving ATVs on the road?” commissioner Tom Loveall asks.

He has been noticing many other counties allowing people to operate their ATVs on the actual roadways not just along the ditches.

“I know with a certain permit they can be driven on the roads,” commissioner Tom Warmka says. “Usually for farming purposes.”

He thought as long as the driver was using it for farming purposes and driving it just from point A to point B, the permit would allow travel on the roads.

“I know some people may be not physically able to operate a car or truck but could get around more easily with an ATV,” Loveall explains.

The other commissioners agreed more and more ATVs are found traveling the roadways.

However, they wondered if it is good for the roadways or safe for the ATV operators. “For me it’s a safety issue more than anything,”?Warmka adds. “Especially on paved roads, where traffic moves a lot faster.”

The commissioners requested that McDonald look into the laws pertaining to ATV use on roadways.

McDonald also updated the board on the progress on County Road 4.

“The bridgework is complete,” he says. “The guard rail and bituminous work will be completed next.”

In other business:

the County Board voted to cease involvement with the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) board.

Commissioner John Roper who sits on the RC&D council for Faribault County told the County Board that this group is no longer beneficial to our county.

“Blue Earth County is getting a lot from it, but we are not,” Roper explains.

The group is dedicated to helping to better utilize an area’s natural resources.

According to Roper, Blue Earth County has used the RC&D?resources to do things such as develop community gardens and food shelves.

What started out with involvement from nine area counties is now down to just four.

Roper made a motion to resign from RC&D?as of Dec. 31.

The board passed the motion and will cease paying dues to the group.

Joe Anderson’s request to cash out his vacation hours in a transition to a supervisor position led the board to question the current personnel policies.

Vacation time was recently redefined as paid time off.

“The personnel policy was never updated to match,” central services coordinator Dawn Fellows explains.

The County Board granted Anderson’s request to cash out his previous vacation time, but wanted to look at the policy.

“The personnel policy will be brought forth and updated in pieces,” Fellows says.

The County Board scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 27 to work out their budget. Then they will hold a public hearing on Sept. 10 during their regular board meeting.

“We can set our preliminary budget and levy at that time,” says county auditor and treasurer John Thompson.