February 1, 2012

(Denver) –A bill to strip local municipalities of control of their local roads passed 8 to 5 the Transportation committee today.

HB 1066 sponsored by Rep. Kevin Priola (R-Henderson) would legalize the use of all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, on all roads, including paved, in municipalities of less than 5,000 people. There are currently 195 Colorado  municipalities that have less than 5,000 people, and this accounts for many of the communities on the Eastern plains and Western slope.

As the law stands right now, local municipalities have the authority to pass an ordinance to allow these off road vehicles to travel on city streets.  This bill strips local counties of those decisions. In addition, this bill will force those 195 municipalities to enact an ordinance, costing the community on average $1,000 a piece.

Multiple representatives from local governments came and testified in opposition to the bill citing increased cost and safety issues regarding this bill.

Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) said she adamantly opposed the bill and voted against the measure.

“I really feel this bill is a misuse of power by larger counties,” Rep. Hamner said. “This is a heavy-handed way of the State Legislature to mandate and undermine local control in our more rural areas that are full of natural resources. Local governments are the best to decide what is best for their communities.”

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