At hearing, Howland residents are OK with vehicle ban

By Shelby Schroeder

A ban on vehicles on public property moves forward.

HOWLAND — Some township residents approve of a proposed resolution banning vehicles on Howland’s public land.

None of the handful of Howland residents voiced opposition to the resolution at a public hearing Wednesday at the administration building. The resolution, if passed, will fine people for using any type of motorized or nonmotorized vehicles on township-owned land.

“I think we’ve got a beautiful peace of land, and all-terrain vehicles will only destroy some of it,” one resident told trustees.

Township Law Director Jason Toth said the resolution, which received its second reading Wednesday, is clear in what it disallows.

“In terms of the resolution, it’s pretty self-explanatory,” said Toth, who explained that signs will be posted on the public lands for added clarity.

Once approved, the resolution will protect the more than 400 acres of wetland owned by the township, which was recently fitted with an expansive boardwalk for visitors.

Trustee Rick Clark added that other cemetery and park land would also be covered by the ban.

“When we purchase these lands, it’s to keep them as pristine and natural as possible,” Clark said.

Clark also explained the ban will meet challenges once enacted, namely with its enforcement.

He said that since the land is so expansive that keeping ATVs, motorbikes and other vehicles off public property will require vigilance by residents.

Police Chief Paul Monroe advised witnesses of illegal activity to notify the police department when they see violations.

The resolution proposes fining violators $250 for a first offense and $500 for a second. It is expected to pass in the coming weeks.

Trustees canceled their Nov. 12 meeting, so they will give the resolution its third and final reading Nov. 26.

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