ROXBURY — After months of waiting and paperwork, Roxbury All-Terrain Vehicle Riders Club president Michael Worthley could finally share news Saturday that the club has its first clubhouse.

On Saturday morning, during the club’s annual Roadside Cleanup Day work throughout town, Worthley and his wife, Wanda, inspected the large building at 1881 Roxbury Road (Route 17).

The 11-year-old club closed on it last week. It used to be the Rumford to Rangeley railroad station in Roxbury Village. The club got it for free, thanks to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Roxbury selectmen.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” Michael Worthley said of the four-bedroom, two bathroom, two-story building. “It’s a big opportunity for the club.”

Selectmen learned last December that a Wells Fargo real estate firm wanted to donate the former Raymond LeBlanc country store to the town.

Worthley, who was finishing up his last term as a Roxbury selectman, suggested leasing it to the ATV club for use as a clubhouse.

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“Wells Fargo went to the town of Roxbury and asked if they were interested in fixing it up as a low-income rent, and the town of Roxbury isn’t into that business,” he said.

“So then they asked if there was a nonprofit in the area and I said, ‘Well, we’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ATV club. And then they said, ‘Put in an application. Stranger things have happened.’

“Two months later, we got a letter saying we were closing on it,” he said. “But it said we were closing on it at the end of May. Well, something happened with them, so we closed on it last week. Originally, (Wells Fargo) charged us a dollar, and then they waived the dollar fee; brand-new septic system, brand-new well, brand-new siding, brand-new windows.”

Worthley said he will have a friend come in with an excavator to remove debris from an old garage beside the building and re-seed the land. The garage was torn down, but the mess wasn’t removed. He also plans to remove another nearby old garage.

The club owns an acre at the site and 150 feet across the street from the clubhouse, which gives them frontage on the Swift River and access to an old swimming hole. He said they could build a set of steps down the riverbank to the pool.

Worthley said taxes on the building are $350 to $400 a year, because of the club’s nonprofit status. He said the club will hold public suppers such as spaghetti feeds to raise the money for taxes and heating oil.

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“And because we’re a service to the town and not an LLC, we’ll get the (Record Hill) wind farm power kickback thing, too,” he said.

“Now we need to get power hooked up to it and get some work parties together to clean it up. Hopefully, in July, we can use it for our first meeting, and maybe in the future, have a food pantry here, but that’s a long ways away.”

The club has 150 family memberships, but many more people of all ages as members.

ROXBURY — About a dozen members of the Roxbury All-Terrain Vehicle Riders Club fanned out throughout town on Saturday morning, removing and bagging trash from roadsides.

As a Mother’s Day present, club President Michael Worthley was going to open the club’s trails for the season. But during a scouting trip Friday to assess conditions, members discovered snow and frost still in the ground in the mountains and hills.

So he intends to open the club’s trails for Memorial Day Weekend on May 23, because the club has its Lee Hodgkins Memorial Poker Run that day. The ride is one of the club’s biggest events of the year because people are eager to get out and ride.

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In April, he closed the trails until June 1, but a few weeks of temperatures in the 80s and higher have dried the ground in trails at lower elevations. “Most of the trails are just bone dry. I mean, places that have water in them all summer long are dry. The trails are dry everywhere until you get up in the mountains.”

The Pleasant Mountain trail still has snow and frost in the ground and the West Mountain trail over to Bemis Mountain has snow.

“I was surprised to see it,” Worthley said. “That’s why I’m not opening the trails yet, because if (riders) start going up there, there’s no bottom to some of that mud and with all the work we did on trails last year, it would just destroy them.”

He said they will continue to check the club’s popular trails, which are an economic engine for the River Valley area.

“If it looks like we can open them next weekend, we will, but if not, it’s going to be the following weekend.” For updates, visit the club’s Facebook site at www.facebook.com/pages/Roxbury-ATV-Riders-Club/164867634305.

One trail will remain closed into July.

“There is heavy logging going on on the Devil’s Den trail into Andover and the landowner wants us to close it down until they’re done in July,” Worthley said. “So we are shutting down the road access to local traffic only from the stop sign in Andover at North Main Street all the way to Devil’s Den.”

Worthley said people can park on the side of the road and walk to the den. “We can still get in and out of Andover from the old satellite station road or South Arm Road. I have permission from Andover selectmen for you to use the South Arm Road from Route 120 in Andover all the way to the town line by Devil’s Den.”

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