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Poca subdivision first to ban ATVs under county rules

Gazette-Mail file photo

WINFIELD — A Poca subdivision is the first neighborhood in Putnam County to fall under the county’s new ATV ordinance.

County commissioners voted Tuesday to allow the Forest Park subdivision to enact the ordinance that prohibits the use of ATVs on every road, avenue and street within the subdivision’s boundaries. The ordinance does make an exception for those loading, unloading or mechanically working on an ATV, and those operating an ATV for the purpose of yard work or hauling materials or equipment to their property, according to a previous Gazette-Mail report.

Kevin Cheshire, president of the Forest Park Home Owners Association, previously told commissioners that the use of ATVs within the subdivision has gotten out of hand.

Cheshire said the ATV riders, usually between the ages of 14 and 17, will ride on the streets in the subdivision — causing high volumes of noise in the neighborhood.

“What we have is a huge problem. There are some that drive through there like it’s a racetrack,” Cheshire told commissioners at a previous meeting. “Not only is it an annoyance, but it’s a safety thing. I mean, they’re flying in there with no helmets, no lights. Somebody is going to get hit. Either someone is going to get hurt trying to avoid hitting one of these kids or somebody is going to smash a kid on the road.”

The penalty for the first offense is a fine of no more than $100. The penalty for the second offense is a fine of no more than $300, and for a third or subsequent offense the fine is no more than $1,000.

Homeowners associations that wish to fall under the ordinance must petition the county commission.

County staff will provide the Putnam County 911 services with an updated list of which subdivisions have elected to enact the ordinance, commissioners said, hoping to resolve any confusion about which subdivisions fall under the ordinance and which do not.

Also at the meeting, commissioners voted to award the town of Eleanor about $5,000 in recreation enhancement grant funds to go toward the town’s efforts to build a new stage for Eleanor Park.

Eleanor Mayor Walter Halstead told commissioners the stage had not been upgraded since around 1982 and has suffered significant damage since.

The stage was unusable for the concerts scheduled at the Putnam County Fair this year, he said, forcing organizers to rent equipment from other vendors.

Commissioners announced Tuesday that trick-or-treat has been set for 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31 this year in areas of the county not inside the limits of cities or towns, which can set their own limits.

The next Putnam County Commission meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28 in Winfield.

Reach Carlee Lammers at, 304-348-1230 or follow @CarleeLammers on Twitter.

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