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Rogue snowmobilers in town park cause consternation in Lee

Dave Gymburch
Staff writer
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Posted 2/12/20

TOWN OF LEE — Snowmobilers going off the beaten path at the town park caused some flurries of concern at the Town Board meeting. People have complained to the town about some riders heading through …

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Rogue snowmobilers in town park cause consternation in Lee

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TOWN OF LEE — Snowmobilers going off the beaten path at the town park caused some flurries of concern at the Town Board meeting.

People have complained to the town about some riders heading through main parts of the park rather than staying on an approved perimeter trail, Town Clerk Sharon Mortis told the board Tuesday night, adding afterward that complainants say such riders are “making a mess.” Town officials urged that snowmobilers observe the trail signs.

Also during the meeting, the board approved an agreement for mowing services this year at five abandoned cemeteries in the town.

• Snowmobilers are “not supposed to be riding in the park” other than on the marked trail, Mortis said regarding the complaints received.

Town Highway Superintendent William Baker said that most of the time, riders are using a trail that is groomed by the Trailbusters Snowmobile Club of Lee Center but “people not familiar with the trail get off the trail.” He noted that on Saturday, for example, he saw four snowmobiles going through the park elsewhere.

The trail route includes a wooded area on the park’s southern end, a stretch on separately owned land just off the park’s western boundary, and a section just inside the park by its northern boundary.

Baker did observe that snowmobilers so far this season have “not gone over the shrubbery like in other years,” referring to a hilly area on the park’s east side where a large group of shrubs are arrayed to form the word “Lee.” But he also commented there has been a lack of snow for much of this season until recently. He added afterward that snowmobilers in prior years also have damaged some stone wall sections in the park that are well off the trail.

Some snowmobilers not staying on the park trail have posed ongoing issues year-to-year, said Baker.

The park, located off Turin Road, is open during the winter, with part of its main roadway plowed to a parking lot atop a hill by a popular sledding area near the park’s eastern side.

• Wright’s Lawncare of Taberg was approved to mow abandoned cemeteries in a $2,500 agreement covering April-October. The business also provided that service last year.

Among the abandoned cemetery locations have been on School Street in Lee Center, Point Rock Road, Belcher Road, and two in West Branch

Wright’s Lawncare also provided a $1,500 quote to mow at town water department facilities including a pumphouse site on Stokes-Lee Center and a water storage tanks site on Podunk Road, said Lee Supervisor John Urtz. But councilman L. James “Jamo” Jones Jr. asked that the town go back to a previous arrangement in which it was handled by the town water district supervisor. He noted the town had changed it due to new hirings in recent years, but “if we could get back...I’m all for it.”

Urtz agreed with the move, and asked Water District Supervisor Joshua Szyper about details for handling the mowing. Szyper said a mower in storage at a separate water department location can be transported to the locations.

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