Two Citizen Initiative petitions — one a draft ordinance to open the entire town to OHVs and another a draft ordinance to ban OHVs from town — were tabled by the Silverton Town Council on Monday, Feb. 13, before a large crowd largely in favor of allowing OHVs in town.
The Town Council will address the petitions in a special session on Thursday evening, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m.
The Town Council has the option of adopting the ordinances as they were presented (though adopting both would be “mutually exclusive”), or to schedule a special election to let town voters revisit the OHV issue in late April or early May.
Backers of the competing petitions issued a joint statement saying their intent is to have an “all-or-nothing” vote on ATVs in Silverton.
In April 2014, Town voters agreed to open some streets to OHVs in a 243-179 vote (58 percent to 42 percent).
Supporters of OHVs being allowed on town streets point to a significant surge in sales tax revenue in the past two years as a sign of its success. But the OHV routes have drawn criticism for being difficult to enforce and not adequately signed.
Both initiative petitions were submitted to Town Hall late last week and Town Clerk Michelle Hamilton has certified that they have adequate signatures.
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