MAN - The Man Town Council discussed cracking down on people who are joyriding and speeding through South Man on ATVs Monday night during the April Town Council meeting.
Man Mayor Jim Blevins said Police Chief David Walls and his department had done an excellent job of addressing the matter, which was brought up a few months earlier at a council meeting. Blevins said the police had cracked down on speeders and joyriders and that they needed to continue as there were still many residents who had complained about the matter. Councilman John Fekete noted that the town of Man in fact has an ordinance that allows ATVs to travel from one point to the other so that riders can stop and buy gas, go to restaurants and eat and do business in town, however the ordinance was never meant to allow people to drive around in circles cruising.
“If people just want to ride around in circles we have over 500 miles of trails where they can do that,” Fekete said. “But riders are not supposed to cruise in town becuase it will not be tolerated.”
Walls noted that the majority of the problem stems from local riders including young people and children, and not from visitors or tourists who seem to be more polite when riding through town.
“The problem is not from visitors,” Walls said. “Our visitors will come through town, get something to eat or shop at a store and move on. This is mostly local young people and kids out cruising that we have a problem with.”
Councilman Daryl Mangrum provided those present with a copy of the town’s ATV Ordinance which sttes plainly:
“No person shall drive or permit a motor vehicle under his care, custody or control to be driven past a traffic control point more than three times in the same direction of travel within a one hour period in or around a posted no-cruising area so s to contribut to traffic congestion, obstruction of streets, sidewalks or parking lots.” The ordinance also states, “the police chief or his designee shall determine when an area has become so congested by traffic as to present a danger of traffic congestion, obstruction of streets , sidewalks or parking lots…” ATVs are required to be in safe working order and to travel at 5 miles under the posted speed limits.
Excessively noisy machines are also prohibited. Machines can only be operated from dusk till dawn with the exceptions of snow removal or emergencies. ATVs are not allowed on the four lane highway or beside it and operators must obey all West Virginia and Town of Man traffic laws and regulations. Those who violate the ordinance might face up to $100 in fines for each occurrence or moving violation. “Squealing tires” and “cruising” are explicitly prohibited.
One person who came in late to the meeting noted that some parents apparently felt an ATV was a babysitting device and would turn even small children loose on them with no supervision. Cheif Walls said he had thought some parents might show up to complain about the crackdown and was surprised to find out the guests were there to ask for it to continue.
Councilman Roger Muncy said he was concerned that sooner or later kids joyriding in residential areas would get struck by an automobile.
“This is a public safety matter and we do not want to see that happen,” Muncy said. “It really and truly should be no joyriding in town.”
“We want people to be able to get from one place to the next to do business with our stores,” Fekete said. “but people driving around in circles or speeding is not supposed to happen.”
Mayor Blevins noted that in addition to speeding some joyriders were doing other risky things such as popping wheelies on the pavement.
In other news, town hall remains abuzz over the dramatic improvement on power bills since the instillation of a solar panel project last fall. Mangrum noted that every sunny day the town is saving money on it’s energy bills and that with the summer months coming the savings are expected to increase dramatically.
“In the winter it was not uncommon to see between .99 cents and $1.99 in savings,” Mangrum said. “However, on one day last week it was $5 and it is still just springtime. We are expecting it to do better this summer maybe to the point of saving $300 per month.”
Mangrum said the worst months the town had powerwise this winter were December and February.
“And even at that we did $50 a month,” noted Mayor Blevins, who said he still gets a lot of questions and phone calls about the project which seems to have captured the public’s fancy.
In other Man news:
- Muncy said the town would start working on their annual summer street fair.
“It’s an election year, is that a good time to get funding,” Muncy quipped at the beginning of the council meeting. Fekete said the street fair usually got donations from the town and many businesses. Mangrum said the town’s donations usually come via the town’s Park Board, which would be meeting later that evening to discuss getting the town’s swimming pool ready for another active summer.
“We usually approve $2,500 and then go through town seeking donations,” said Muncy, who noted that Terrie Schoolcraft did a wonderful job every year of organizing the much anticipated event.
- Blevins said the town’s budget revision for 2011-2012 was approved and that the town would lay its budget levy on April 17 at noon.
- Blevins praised the Man Fire Department and the Man Police Department for their roles in assisting following a recent three car collision where one local resident was seriously injured.
“Our firefighters and police officers did an excellent job,” Blevins noted, saying that quality first responders really do save lives.
- Walls gave the town council a report about his department’s activities during the month of March. Chief Walls said the Man P.D. made one felony arrest which also had four other charges; 13 misdemeanor arrests ( among them were four for obstructing an officer, two for driving on a revoked license for DUI and three for posession of a controlled substance).The department issued 14 citations including two for driving on a revoked license, three for no insurance, one for reckless driving and nine for speeding. The Man P.D. also investigated two traffic accidents. Walls told Muncy that on an average month the department might issue between two to nine speeding tickets.