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Amendment allows riders to join off-road drivers on county roads

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Board of finance conducts one-minute meeting

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

TELL CITY – Perry County commissioners amended in a regular meeting Monday an ordinance they adopted Dec. 1 to allow off-road vehicles to travel on county roads.

Once enacted after it's been advertised twice, the amendment will permit the number of riders intended by each vehicle's manufacturer to accompany its licensed driver, and will require the same amount of insurance that is required for cars.

Commissioner Jody Fortwendel said at an August meeting people had been asking him about allowing the vehicles' use on county roads. Vanderburgh County commissioners had just adopted a similar ordinance, and he put the question to this county's residents.

He found they were "overwhelmingly for it," mostly for recreational purposes, he said in December.

The ordinance the commissioners adopted repealed another concerning the use of three- and four-wheelers on county highways by farmers for agricultural purposes.

It notes state law permits off-roaders to use county roads "designated for that purpose by a county."

Off-road vehicles are defined in the law as motor-driven vehicles capable of cross-country travel and can include amphibious, air-cushion and "other means of transportation deriving motive power from a source other than muscle or wind."

The News erroneously reported Dec. 8 that the law includes in its definition farm, construction, military and law-enforcement vehicles, snowmobiles, aircraft, watercraft and golf carts.

In other business, the commissioners recessed their meeting to convene an annual minute-long meeting of the county's board of finance, composed of the three county commissioners and County Treasurer Martha Wooldridge.

On her recommendation, Commissioner Gary Dauby retained the president's role on the board and she'll continue to serve as secretary.

"I propose no changes to the county's investment policy," Wooldridge said. "The county's money will be kept in interest-bearing accounts with the three local banks, Fifth Third, Old National and First State," she added.

The board of finance approved continuation of the policy.