COUDERSPORT — The Coudersport Borough Council heard from several people who were opposed to opening the borough streets up for ATV usage between the August and September meetings, council members reported.
Steve Kelly, president of an ATV club, and Ashley Simar, attended the August council meeting to request the borough open up some of its streets for ATVs. The borough currently has an ordinance that prohibits ATVs and UTVs on borough streets.
Council member Todd Husson said he was in favor of it, but the community didn’t seem open to the idea because of the noise. Council President Wayne Hathaway said some residents were concerned about them riding on sidewalks and scarring it up. Others said residents were concerned about them racing through town.
Simar said the speeding through town happens only because it’s not legal.
“People race through town because it’s not legal. So your point is to get through town as quick as possible ... once it’s open and legal, people aren’t going to be flying through town, there’s going to be a 10 mph, 5 mph speed limit. It will change, it will decrease,” Simar said.
“We just want the streets open so you can get through town to different trails, get down to local businesses. You’re really missing out on getting people into our town,” she said.
Joseph Parr, of Coudersport, said opening up the borough streets would create a large influx of transportation coming into town. He said people can get out of town and ride their ATVs legally by putting it in a trailer and driving to the legal trail.
Jack Kiefer, of Coudersport, said he was concerned about the noise.
“I have a problem with people going barreling up down around our house, too. They go up toward the pool and are making all kinds of noise,” Jack Kiefer said.
Tingting Kiefer, of Coudersport, said she was absolutely opposed to the borough allowing ATVs and snowmobiles to be used on borough streets. She said sometimes the riders start by her house at 11 p.m. and go until 4 a.m. and the loud noises keep her and her family up at night.
“It’s like an amusement park for them. They go around and around like a go-kart track or something, over and over again,” she said. She said she thought the majority of town residents felt this way and questioned why the majority of people should have to suffer so the minority could have fun.
Kelly said in their proposal to the borough, it states there would be noise limitations, keeping everything below 99 decibels.
The borough and its council will hold a public hearing to gather input on this issue during its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the Coudersport Borough Maintenance Facility meeting room on Damascus Street. Because of limited space due to social distancing guidelines, people can come in two at a time to make their comments.
Residents who would like to make a public comment regarding opening the borough streets up for ATVs and UTVs are encouraged to write a letter or email to the council, which must include their name and home address. Anonymous opinions will not be considered.
All comments, letters and petitions can be mailed or brought to the borough office at 201 South West Street, Coudersport, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If attending the meeting in person, face masks will be required and time limits for each speaker will be set. Residents are also encouraged to speak directly to their council representative or Mayor Andy Dubots. Council representatives can be found online at https://coudersportborough.org/government/officials.