Allowing snowmobiles access to downtown businesses will be discussed by the Manawa Common Council at its Dec. 16 meeting.
The Improvements and Services Committee agreed to recommend that the council allow a snowmobile trail within city limits.
The issue was discussed at the committee’s meeting on Monday, Dec. 2. In attendance were residents of the city of Manawa and representatives from the Little Wolf Snowmobile Club.
The snowmobile club presented options for south and north access to Manawa businesses.
“We’re the hub of the county – almost every trail crosses Manawa to go anywhere,” said David Mark Niven, the club’s president.
“Right now the snowmobile trails loop around the city of Manawa,” Niven said. “Snowmobiles shouldn’t be bypassing the downtown businesses. We should be finding a way to get them into town.”
City resident Randy Bruns was worried about noise and recommended that the south-access trail not run on Howard and Roberts streets. Instead, he would like the trail to run on non-residential streets.
“We’re open to other options,” Niven said.
He noted the snowmobile club was not against looking at a different route, but they would need to get permission from landowners.
“We need the best route to our businesses,” said committee member Joe Bonikowske. “No matter where you put the trail, some people will like it and some won’t.”
A citizen presented a sampling of snowmobile ordinances from other municipalities. The rules included 15 mph within city limits and some even required riders to stand or kneel as they took a snowmobile into residential areas.
The committee was asked who would enforce the rules. It was determined that the Manawa Police Department could enforce any ordinances set by the city. Also, the snowmobile club has members who help patrol the local trails.