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Snirt Run sticker rule falls by wayside; no Lewis County law passed yet


LOWVILLE — An effort to keep “renegades” from participating in this year’s Snirt Run, set for April 12, may not stick after all.

A local law discussed by the Lewis County Economic Development and Recreation, Forestry and Parks Committees in February would have required all Snirt participants to display a headlight sticker as proof of registration.

At that meeting, Gary R. Stinson, president of the Barnes Corners Sno-Pals snowmobile club and Snirt Run organizer, said he believes damage in previous years has been done by “renegade” all-terrain vehicle operators, or those who do not register with his club for the event.

In response, Lewis County Undersheriff James M. Monnat said a sticker placed on the headlight of event-registered ATVs would indicate to his deputies whether an operator has in fact registered. Without the passage of a local law, he said, deputies could not issue tickets to ATV operators who had failed to register.

At that time, and at subsequent meetings, Mr. Stinson agreed to purchase the stickers to be given out to registrants. However, a public hearing to pass a local law has not been set.

A resolution stipulating requirements with which the Sno-Pals snowmobile club must comply before roads will be opened for the event will be voted on at today’s 5 p.m. board meeting.

The stickers are not mandated as a requirement in that resolution.

Monday, Mr. Monnat said he was unaware the legislators were not moving forward with the local law they discussed in February. “I don’t see any possible way we can enforce this,” he said.

Mr. Monnat recalled telling legislators at an earlier meeting, “If they didn’t display a sticker, it would provide presumptive evidence that they were not registered.”

County Recreational Trail Coordinator Jacqueline L. Mahoney also was not aware no action had been taken on the stickers.

Joan E. McNichol had just begun her first day as Lewis County attorney Monday when reached for comment. “I can’t comment at this time,” she said. “We are looking into it.”

In February, outgoing Lewis County Attorney Richard J. Graham said that, by passing a local law saying the roads are open exclusively for participants of the event, legislators could give authority to the Sheriff’s Department to issue tickets to ATV drivers who have not registered.

Mr. Graham advised the Legislature that public roads can be opened with an exclusive right to use them for people who pay registration fees to a private entity, such as Barnes Corners Sno-Pals.

This is legal, Mr. Graham said, “because absent the permission for this special event, they wouldn’t be able to use it. The roads are opened up solely for this use.”

Mr. Stinson did not return requests for comment.

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