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UTV resolution gets support from Parishville, Pierrepont

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PIERREPONT - Less than 24 hours after getting the county’s approval, a proposed Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) law calling for an increased weight limit was making its rounds in Parishville and Pierrepont this week.

Art Wilson, president of the Parishville Area All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Club, said the plan would raise the defined weight of an ATV from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.

This would allow certain UTVs to be registered in New York state, according to the resolution.

“For older people, it’s so much more comfortable, it’s safer to have a side by side. They don’t weigh that much more. Mine is a four wheeler, but it weighs 800 and something pounds, and then you take a vehicle that’s a side by side, more comfortable and everything and it weighs 1,020 and you can’t register it. They’re a safer, more comfortable unit,” Mr. Wilson said.

“People are buying these hoping that (the resolution) will go through and that’s not good. The revenue that comes from the sales of these things, you’re talking about a lot of revenue for each and every sale.”

Mr. Wilson and St. Lawrence County Trails Coordinator Deb Christy have spearheaded the ongoing efforts to get the resolution passed and are now aiming for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval before the state budget vote.

“I think the governor will sign onto this because the state is looking for dollars and this is a revenue that has been overlooked. It’s just the case where the towns, the county, the state, they all need revenue taxes coming in and this is basically a no-brainer,” Mr. Wilson said. “You’ve got an awful lot of people that are saying, ‘I’m going to buy one. It’s just as soon as I can get that thing registered, I’m going to buy one.’”

The senate one-house budget resolution was adopted by the county Board of Legislators on Monday, supporting the plan of the St. Lawrence County Recreational Trails Board to “draft an amendment to the Vehicle and Traffic Law to raise the defined weight...”

The current V&T law defines an ATV specifically as being no wider than 70 inches and no heavier than 1,000 pounds.

New York is currently the only state that doesn’t allow riders to register vehicles that weigh over 1,000 pounds, according to the document.

“(The resolution) has gone to the governor and now we are going to send in these individual letters of support. We’re hoping that he signs it by the time the budget is due ... I’ve got a lot of hope that it will go through. It’s got a better chance of going through now than it ever has,” Mr. Wilson said.

“(State Senator Patty Ritchie) has gotten it passed through the senate I think three times now. Some of the legislators down there, they don’t understand what they are. We were thinking of having a legislator ride up here so they can see how safe they are,” he said.

Both the Parishville and Pierrepont town boards approved the UTV resolution presented by Mr. Wilson.

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