By Sue Tiffin
Snowmobilers are welcome in Haliburton but their sleds are no longer permitted on two areas of downtown main streets.
Council passed a bylaw on Jan. 28 restricting the use of motorized snow vehicles on Highland Street between Cedar Avenue and Dysart Avenue and on Maple Avenue between York Street and Mountain Street except for crossing at a right angle.
“The goal of this bylaw is to help everybody and to make things better here” said Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy.
The bylaw to regulate and govern the use of motorized snow vehicles within the municipality in the interest of public safety was passed after the issue of snowmobilers on pedestrian pathways was brought up in the winter season last year. It notes that snowmobiles are prohibited on sidewalks except to cross sidewalks at right angles and that riding in municipality-owned public parks or open spaces is permitted unless signs mark the area as prohibited. Daytime parking is available in municipal parking lots next to the A.J. LaRue arena at the entrance of Head Lake Park and at a lot on Maple Avenue while a motorized snow vehicles parking area is designated at Head Lake Park.
Fines of $200 per offence were set for operating snowmobiles on prohibited highways driving snowmobiles on municipal property without consent operating snowmobiles on the sidewalk and obstructing hindering or attempting to obstruct or hinder an officer.
“We see it as a compromise” reads a post by the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association on their Facebook page. “Sledders get access to parking lots and most roads the views of non-snowmobiling residents and visitors are respected.”
Kennedy thanked the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association for working to address the concerns and the Haliburton Village BIA for being on board with the changes.
Council is also looking to having conversations about better snowmobile parking as well as signage to
direct sledders to town. Last week the BIA hung a banner identifying the snowmobile parking area in the park and welcoming snowmobilers to “downtown Haliburton.”
“We need the business we appreciate the business” said Mayor Andrea Roberts. “We’re working on it to make sure we have snowmobiles in Dysart in the right area.”