Attempting to alleviate confusion was a common theme during Dyersville City Council’s work session on ATVs Monday night.
At its previous meeting, the council passed the first of the three required readings of an ordinance that would allow ATVs to use Dyersville’s streets, but given the response from the public, the council and city staff said it was apparent there was a misunderstanding as to what took place.
Councilmember Mike Oberbroeckling said he took issue with some comments being made on social media, expressing frustration that people didn’t understand that the council has yet to set the legal dates on which ATVs can be used.
“The resolution, which we have not addressed, sets the dates and times,” Oberbroeckling said. “We took a bunch of criticism on social media for passing the first reading of the ordinance when passing the first reading of the ordinance was exactly what (ATV advocates) were asking for.”
The ordinance, which goes into detail to define what an ATV is, who may operate them, what equipment and insurance is needed as well as where they are permitted to be used and what the penalties are for violations, contains a clause that defers to a yet-to-be-passed resolution concerning what dates they may be used.
City Administrator Mick Michel explained this was done by design, because with a resolution, the council doesn’t have to set a public hearing, hold three votes or adhere to the same publishing requirements as an ordinance, making it much easier to modify.
“By establishing a resolution, the council, upon its own motion in a majority vote (may) change or remove those dates as it sees fit,” Michel explained.
After hearing concerns regarding the strict criteria for dates and operation times and the confusion that would likely cause, the council has shifted gears on its proposal in that regard.
The Public Safety Committee previously recommended six singular dates, which coincide with the Downtown Friday Night events as well as the Downtown Market, but the council has now moved to expand those single dates to include the entire weekend surrounding those dates from sunrise Friday to sunset Sunday.
For instance, instead of the first allowable date being just Saturday, June 12, the council would allow usage June 11-13.
While discussed, the council has not yet approved this measure and is scheduled to potentially vote on the resolution at its June 7 meeting. The council did however pass the second reading of the ordinance by a 4-1 vote (Councilmember Mike English dissenting) and modified the language to allow ATV usage on Aquatic Drive.