MILO, Maine — The approximately 30 Milo residents who attended a public hearing Monday about all-terrain vehicles being driven on select roads in the community were, for the most part, supportive of the recreational activity.
The public hearing was part of an application process to seek the Department of Transportation’s sanction for use of certain state-aid roads in the community for ATVs.
Milo selectmen had earlier approved the use of ATVs on West Main Street from Hobnobbers Restaurant to the industrial park on Park Street, Pleasant Street, and a section of the Lakeview Road but discovered later that they had overlooked a step in the process. The KI Riders ATV Club should have applied to the DOT for approval before the routes were approved, but that step was not done, Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan told the participants.
“Selectmen thought about, discussed it a lot and felt in the interest of economic development that it would be a good idea that we could give it a try,” Gahagan said of the earlier ATV approval. “In our zeal to go ahead and get this set up, we approved some roads that needed a different kind of approval. We missed that step, and so we’ve put it in reverse and were here tonight to talk about ATVs traveling on roads here within the town.”
While he doesn’t own an all-terrain vehicle, resident Randy Walker said the ATV operators who pass by his home are prudent drivers. “They’ve been great all summer long and that was a worry of mine that this was just going to open up a party,” Walker said Monday.
There are all-terrain vehicle operators who drive too fast, resident Frank Knight noted, including one ATV driver who struck a vehicle on his property. He said he took videos of the driver to back up his claim.
Resident Dickie Martin, who owns an ATV, suggested there are bad apples in every recreational sport and those few shouldn’t spoil it for the rest. “To me, I think it’s very unique for the town of Milo to have this,” he said.
Selectmen said they would consider the comments at their September meeting. The board is expected to decide at that time whether to include a letter of recommendation in support of the KI Riders’ request for use of the state access roads.