Issue of allowing ATVs on roads heats up at Cavan Monaghan council meeting

The debate over whether to allow ATVs on the road is heating up in Cavan Monaghan Township. Tuesday night, around 40 people spoke up on the issue at a special council meeting. Mark Giunta reports.

Cavan Monaghan Township council is mulling over allowing ATVs on about 10 km of public roads.

The roads under consideration connect trails from the Victoria Rail Trail in the City of Kawartha Lakes to the Ganaraska Forest in Northumberland County.

That topic was front-and-centre at a public meeting at the new community centre on Tuesday night.

There, around 40 people spoke either in-favour of allowing ATVs on roads or against it.

READ MORE: 4th Line Theatre opposes ATV access to roads in Cavan Monaghan Township

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David Frank, a township resident, was opposed.

“Taxes have gone up a lot already.  I’m concerned road costs and other issues relating to ATVs will have a negative effect on our taxes,” Frank said.

If council moves ahead with the motion as-is, it would allow ATVs on its public roads connecting the two trails in the south-end of the township.

“It would involve going through a fire route, Glamorgan (Road), Dranoel (Road) and a little piece of Fallis Line.”

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“This was specifically to try and get into the westerly portion of the Ganaraska Forest,” said township Mayor Scott McFadden.

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Among those to speak in favour of allowing ATVs on the roads was Kawartha ATV Association president Carolyn Richards.

“We are seeing a tremendous growth in our membership in Millbrook, as your subdivisions are growing,” said Richards.

Richards pointed to similar decisions where councils in Trent Lakes and the City of Kawartha Lakes approved road allowances for ATVs connecting from one trail to another.

“In the end, there was no increase to liability insurance for the City of Kawartha Lakes.  There’s never been an accident between an ATV and an automobile in City of Kawartha Lakes and Trent Lakes.  We’ve never seen a decrease in property values, as many people say there will be,” added Richards.

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The issue will return to council in about a month, although a decision may not be made any time soon.

“Tonight raised a lot of questions.  We have a lot of research and correspondence to go through,” added McFadden.  “Council will take this opportunity to go through the valid questions that were raised tonight that we don’t have answers to right now.”