Dirt bike ordinance discussed

Adam Larck TimesNewspapers

A proposed ordinance heard May 20 at the village board meeting could soon put a damper on dirt bikes, ATVs and more in residential areas.

The ordinance, brought to the board by trustee Randy Belsley, would prohibit the recreational use of dirt bikes, other motorized cycles, snowmobiles and ATVs on private property in residentially-zoned areas within the village. However, they could still be used on public streets.

“Over the last couple of years there have been a number of occurrences of individuals riding motorcycles, more commonly known as dirt bikes, on residential property,” Belsley said. “Some have been on developed property and some on undeveloped property.”

Belsley noted that, with the increase in popularity with the vehicles, the village will probably encounter more use going toward the future.

The ordinance does not restrict any vehicles used for lawn maintenance or any construction vehicles on residential property.

The vehicles could still be used on property that is residentially zoned and has 5 acres or more.

The ordinance is available to view online at http://www.morton-il.gov/recreational-use-of-motorcycles-and-atv-s-ordinance. The earliest the ordinance will be considered is the June 3 meeting.

In other news, the board:

• Heard from Trustee Ginger Hermann that alternative energy suppliers are making another push to get residents to switch suppliers. Most Morton residents currently get their energy supplied from Homefield Energy.

She noted that all these alternate suppliers need is a resident’s Ameren account number to be able to make the change.

“From what we can tell, the rates being offered aren’t lower than what residents in the program are paying,” Hermann said. “Residents are being asked for their Ameren account number. When these companies have that, they can make the switch.”

 Residents who were switched by another company and want to switch back to Homefield Energy can call Ameren’s customer service office.

More information can be found by calling the Morton village office at 266-5361.

“We’re not telling people not to switch,” Hermann said. “But, from all accounts, the savings you’re getting through Homefield Energy is significantly better than what they can offer.”

Hermann did not name any companies that are contacting residents.

However, residents have reported that they have received calls from Nordic Energy Services. In addition, the City of Champaign has also cautioned residents against Liberty Power, who has contacted residents there as well.

• Recognized 10 auxiliary police officers that volunteered more than 100 hours throughout 2012.

Each of the officers received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

Overall, the auxiliary as a group volunteered 2,029.5 hours last year.

“I hope people realize how much this saves the community to have these fellows volunteer all this time,” Rainson said. “It’s super helpful.”

• Approved the appointment of Stephen Newhouse and Sam Heer to the Morton EDC Board of Directors.

In addition, Heer was also appointed to monitor and manage potential uses of the current Farm & Fleet building as the company builds a new building across from Walmart.

• Approved the tourism grants for various events.

Nineteen events were approved to receive a total of $126,900. All grants are funded by hotel/motel taxes.