Lawmakers Ponder Snirt Run Changes

Tools

Upwards of 80 miles of trails and and less snow and dirt are what make Lewis County's Snirt Run a favorite for ATV riders.

But with thousands of riders hitting the trails, cases of property damage have gone up.

Lewis County lawmakers and residents are coming together to find a solution.

"There is some areas we've got to improve on," said Snirt organizer Gary Stinson, "a couple of roads I wasn't aware of that got mud on them. We'll certainly take care of that this year."

Stinson says damage often happens when riders go off the trails, but that's hard to control.

"When those people leave our facilities and go out into the trail system, and they see a hill they want to climb, a bump they want to go over or something, there's no way we can possibly protect that or put an end to that."

County lawmakers even considered charging riders another $5 on top of their $10 entry fee, but decided to table it for this year.

While it would help pay for any damages, some business owners say the fee would kill event turnout.

"I was really glad to hear that they dropped that issue this year," said Douglas Dietrich, who owns the Golden Shamrock Bed and Breakfast, "because I really think it would kill the Snirt Run.

"And, in essence, that kills sales tax, bed tax," he said.

Nothing is final following a legislature meeting Tuesday, but lawmakers are considering everything from enhanced maps to additional trail markers and more patrols to keep riders safe and off private property.

Saturday, November 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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