Reid advocates for new ATV types on Rail Trail 0
Minden Hills Reeve Barb Reid wants side-by-side ATVs on the Haliburton County Rail Trail.
At a July 11 tourism development committee meeting, it came up that Reid has invited a representative from Bombardier to visit councillors and talk to them about side-by-side ATVS.
The vehicles, which resemble souped-up golf carts, are not currently permitted on the Rail Trail.
Reid said the representative would also bring one-up, two-up and side-by-side models to park outside the county office so that councillors could clearly see their dimensions.
“They don’t think that county council has really understood,” Reid said.
Some of her colleagues took issue with the plan.
“I thought we weren’t entertaining any more delegations on the Rail Trail,” said County Warden Murray Fearrey.
County council, which is waiting on recommendations from a public consultation process conducted by consultant Kate Hall, had agreed earlier in the year that it wouldn’t hear any more presentations concerning the Rail Trail until the recommendations had been dealt with.
Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt said she already knew what the vehicles look like.
“I don’t need to see them,” she said.
Fearrey also took issue that someone from a specific company had been invited to make the presentation.
“What’s fair about having Bombardier do it?” Fearrey asked, adding there are other companies who manufacture side-by-sides. “I have a little trouble with it.”
Fearrey also commented that side-by-sides are not permitted on roads.
Reid has repeatedly insisted that the county is impeding its own economic development by prohibiting certain types of vehicles on the trail.
“They [side-by-sides] are the fastest growing segment,” Reid said. “This is where there’s a disconnect.”
Reid thought county council needed to get more in tune with consumer interests and make its regulations consistent with those of the City of Kawartha Lakes, into which the trail passes at Kinmount.
“If we’re simply going to defer making any changes, are we really doing the job we set out to do?” she asked.
Moffatt, who was the council liaison on the steering group for Hall’s study, reiterated that councillors had agreed to wait for the recommendations, which should come to county council at the end of the month.
“I’m a bit of a process follower,” she said, “County council committed to this process.”
Moffatt said the recommendation coming forward would be to freeze existing uses until a better bylaw enforcement structure can be set up.
“Embedded in that recommendation is a decision on side-by-sides,” Reid said, calling the recommendation “omnibus” and adding that possible uses should be separate resolutions before council.
Moffatt said they would be.
In the meantime, Reid said the rep would still be bringing the demo models.
“You can look at them, or you can ignore them,” she said.