Delta Township officials raise concerns about allowing off-road vehicles on county roads

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Delta Township officials want to keep off-road vehicles off of county roads going through the township.

The Eaton County Board of Commissioners Public Safety Committee is exploring a county ordinance that could allow off-road vehicles to operate on county roads. County Commissioner Tim Barnes, R-Mulliken, who chairs public safety committee, reached out to Delta Township and other local governments for feedback.

Township board members discussed the possible county ordinance at their Nov. 1 meeting.

Supervisor Kenneth Fletcher said he’s seen off-road vehicles in the township more often recently. Such vehicles generally are banned on public roads in the township, unless they meet specific requirements and are registered as legal street vehicles.

“I’m starting to see them on a regular basis,” Fletcher said. “When I see them there’s kids and sometimes you’re seeing like a dozen kids hanging off of them, you know racing down the street.”

Treasurer Dennis Fedewa said he believes the ordinance was influenced by the rural areas of Eaton County. 

“We’re an urban township,” Fedewa said. “We’re sitting here with Saginaw Highway, Willow Highway, St. Joe Highway. We have a couple county roads that are north and south and they’re heavily traveled — well, that’s Waverly, that is Snow and Canal. We only have really about three or four small precincts in Delta Township in the southwestern corner, it’s one of the only few gravel roads we have.” 

Trustee Andrea Cascarilla said the board is in early stages of conversation regarding this ordinance in the township

“We’ll have to see,” said Cascarilla. “There are too many areas where I feel like it wouldn’t be appropriate to have those vehicles on the road.

“Experience shows we’ve had great communication and partnerships back and forth with the county on issues and I imagine on this we will as well,” said Cascarilla. “There will be more conversations about it for certain.”

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