News Local

Hamilton Township plowing business owner wants OK for ATVs on roads

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

East Bayshore Road (Grey Road 15) in Owen Sound is one of the streets in the city where ATVs are currently not permitted. But that could change if Grey County amends its bylaw on ATV use on county roads.

East Bayshore Road (Grey Road 15) in Owen Sound is one of the streets in the city where ATVs are currently not permitted. But that could change if Grey County amends its bylaw on ATV use on county roads.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- There is another request to allow ATVs on some roadways in Hamilton Township.

Even though council recently declined to pass a bylaw requested by the Northumberland District ATV Riders Club to override the Highway Traffic Act allowing all terrain vehicles to travel on roads in the township, a Cobourg businessman and former township resident is back asking for a similar thing.

Jay Wilton of Jay's Landscaping told councillors Tuesday that he wants a special exemption for ATVs with snow plows.

"There seems to be a high demand "¦" Wilton said about people needing their driveways cleared, and ATVs are a good choice for his business in subdivisions.

"I'm not talking about all ATVs being allowed on highways" but only those with plows, he said.

It is easier and less expensive for his winter-time snow-clearing business to use plows mounted on ATVs in subdivisions where space is tight, he explained.

"And they are not as noisy "¦ (Clients) can sleep right through."

A truck with snow plow is about five times the cost of a $10,000 ATV with the same equipment, he also said.

In his presentation, Wilton explained that he wanted to use ATVs on roadways in an area from Cobourg's northern boundary (where such an exemption already exists) to about a mile north of Cornish Hollow Road in the township where a subdivision is being constructed and he already has clients.

His employees would drive the ATVs between client locations as opposed to being trailered.

Wilton listed a number of streets just north of Cobourg including Forest Hill Drive, Ontario Street and Danforth Road West where he wanted ATVs to be able to travel to service his clients in the township.

Wilton also said he wanted permission to drive along County Road 2 and/or the Dale Road between the township and Port Hope - but Mayor Mark Lovshin explained that was a county roadway, and he would need authorization from Northumberland County.

"Those are busy roads "¦ especially in a snowstorm," Councillor Bill Cane commented.

Councillor Scott Jibb said it would be hard to police the situation.

Wilton countered that his employees would only be riding with plows on their ATVs between client locations, and they would be insured, licenced and operators would wear the required helmets.

If police had an issue, it would be easy to contact his company, he stressed.

The township councillors have already heard arguments against allowing ATVs on roadways, including insurance liability issues, and people who have opposed such a bylaw thought the matter was settled, Lovshin said.

"If we allowed you to do it, it would have to be a blanket (permission) for snow removal in the township."

The mayor said with the special government day council next week taking place at Cold Springs Hall at 1 p.m., council would not consider this request until November.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com