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County adopts new ATV ordinance, while Cloquet tables theirs

Pete Alexander of Pine River, Minn., rides his four-wheeler near Spafford Park in Cloquet Monday afternoon. Tyler Northey/Pine Journal

ATVs have been a hot topic recently, at both the county level and in the city of Cloquet.

In its formal meeting Aug. 2, Cloquet City Councilors opted to table a proposed ordinance that would have required people riding ATVs on city streets to go to the police station and fill out an application, also showing proof of insurance.

Interim Cloquet Police Chief Jeff Palmer explained to the council that state law now requires a permitting process if cities allow ATVs on municipal streets. There has been a long-standing practice in Cloquet to allow the operation of special vehicles like ATVs, golf carts and mini-trucks, but no real regulation. The council decided to table the issue because of questions about whether the permit requirement would apply to all ATVs or just unlicensed drivers such as those who are under 16 years old or who don't have a driving license.

The Carlton County Board approved a new ATV (aka all terrain vehicles, or four-wheelers) ordinance during its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 8.

The new ordinance regulates ATVs on county roads and county right of way areas to help riders know how to navigate the roads correctly and legally.

There were two changes made to the ordinance to clarify a few points following the discussion at a public meeting about the proposed law a few weeks ago.

One addition clarified the ATV operator is to drive only in the direction of travel.

The other change clarified that ATVs are to drive on the right shoulder of the road unless otherwise restricted by this ordinance, making left turns across the road only if it is safe to do so under prevailing conditions.

The county's new ATV ordinance will be posted as soon as the current county website is revamped.

"I envision that somewhere on our 'new and improved' page," said Carlton County Auditor/Treasurer Paul Gassert. "We will have an area posting such things as county ordinances and policies and such."

In other Carlton County Board news, TRC was once again awarded the electronics recycling contract at the Transfer Station. There is a $5 fee for each electronic dropped off for recycling, including televisions.

The board approved the renewal of the cooperative agreement between the Sheriff's Department and the city of Carlton.

The board accepted a donation from Welcome Home for $20,000 to be used for a flex/wraparound fund to the Carlton County Children's Mental Health and Family Services Collaborative.

The Carlton County Board meets next 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, at the Carlton County Transportation Building in Carlton.