Lawmakers Okay ATV Permit Price Hike & Building Project

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Two big decisions came out of Wednesday's special meeting of the Lewis County Board of Legislators.

It was a public hearing to get feedback from the community about a possible fee hike for the county's all-terrain vehicle permits.

Despite much opposition from ATV club members, the board ended up voting 9-1 in favor of the increase.

"We feel, the board feels, that this is the right way to go to advance our trail system to where we want it to go," said District 8 Legislator Rick Lucas.

The ATV permits will now cost $65 - with some of that money going to trail maintenance.

The fee will also no longer include any club member discount.

Many don't like that.

Those opposed to the hike say they're concerned people will only buy the permits and not memberships with the area's ATV clubs.

"I think we're going to see a big reduction in membership, and I think that's what they didn't look at," said Joseph Onyon, president of the Tug Hill ATV Association.

County legislators also narrowly approved a proposed office building project.

They voted 6-4 to go out to bid on a 45,000-square-foot building on outer Stowe Street.

"Everything is still open and many things could happen in the time it takes to get to that point of when the bids are returned. But, we have to remain positive," said Board Chairman Michael Tabolt. 

The chairman says the county expect to receive bids in a couple months.

He says the office building could cost anywhere from $7 million to as much as $20 million.

Friday, December 19, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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