WELD — Tuesday evening, Oct. 13, selectmen tabled plans for All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) use in the town.

Selectman David Rackliffe said he researched opening roads for use by ATV/UTV’s. He said that he learned that in order to open State roads for public access there must be an ATV Club within the Town of Weld.

UTVs (Utility Task Vehicles), are off-road vehicles that can seat two to four people, are designed for rougher terrain and hauling and other work.

ATV/UTV’S may travel from trail heads to a gas station for gas or to a store to get something to eat but can’t be used for someone to leave their home to travel to a trail head, Cochran wrote.

At the annual Town Meeting in March, voters approved allowing the selectmen to develop a plan for ATV use in town.

At that meeting, Selectman Chairman Tom Skolfield said ATV use would be permitted on portions of some roads, not all. Selectmen would develop rules that would include among other things speed limits and requiring headlight usage, he said.

“DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations say there has to be an ATV club authorized by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Bureau of Parks and Lands,” Skolfield said by phone Wednesday morning. “That club has to sign things to open up certain State roads. We don’t have one.”

Opening up just non-State roads to ATV use wouldn’t work, he added.

“Weld is kind of unique. There are a lot of trails in the (Mt. Blue State) park,” Skolfield said. “There aren’t the restaurants, other places, like in Rangeley. Even if we did open it up, I don’t anticipate a lot of use.”

This is a way to push for a local ATV club, if they’re willing to do it, he added.

In other business, the board was told Code Enforcement Officer Katharine Shoaps will be retiring at the end of the year. The town will advertise for a replacement, Cochran wrote.

In a phone interview Wednesday morning, Shoaps said she had been Weld’s CEO for about 16 years.

“I had been the CEO in Wilton, but my husband became ill and I had to step down,” she said. “I also worked in Phillips for a short time.”

Her husband passed five years ago and upkeep inside and outside her home is becoming an issue, Shoaps said.

“It’s gotten to be a chore. There’s not enough time,” she said. “I’m looking forward to putting my time into my house and grounds. I have to work on my generator today.”

Rackliffe volunteered to be the town’s Animal Control Officer (ACO) until another person can be hired and take the training, Cochran wrote.

“We don’t have an ACO,” Skolfield said. “As a backup plan, David volunteered as an interim. We’re still looking for someone to do that.”


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