Jackson County snowmobile route altered after damage complaints - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Jackson County snowmobile route altered after damage complaints

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Snowmobilers in one Iowa town will notice a change to the area snowmobile route after some local business owners and residents reported damage along last year's path. The current snowmobile route for the City of Bellevue brings riders into the city from two highways to the west and from U.S. 52 onto numerous downtown residential and commercial alleys.

Loras Herrig is Bellevue's city administrator. He said the snowmobile regulations ordinance was created some 20 years ago and was in need for some minor changes. Those minor changes came in the form of altering routes around railroad crossings that have been closed in Bellevue.

"It is one of those things like everything else that you need to look at once in a while," Herrig said. "This was a case where citizen complaints made us look at it which was a good thing."

The City of Bellevue began reviewing the ordinance this fall. That's after some local business owners and residents complained that some area alley's were being torn up due to the snowmobiles. According to Herrig, the City of Bellevue has a program set into place where citizens helped pay for a portion of alleys to be re-done.

"The program started a couple of years ago. We did not have funds to re-do all these alleys, but if the citizens paid for a portion of the alleys then we could get them done. So in this particular case the citizens have some of their own money stuck into the alley." Herrig said.

The new route was approved by the Bellevue City Council in mid-October. The Bellevue City Council worked closely in amending the snowmobile regulations with the Snowmobilers of Jackson County Club. Colin Hager is a member of that club. He says the new route is a win-win situation.

"It's more friendly for us and for the people who did not like it before." Hager said.

Hager said his only fear with the new route is that riders who are not members of the Snowmobilers of Jackson County Club may not stick to the new route.

Officials with the Bellevue Police Department say snowmobilers who do go off the new route will be charged with operating a snowmobile off a designated path. The fines for those charges will be set by a judge.

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