Discussions ongoing with Lee County UTV ordinance

DIXON – A special county committee is continuing to work out the details of a program that would allow UTVs on county roads.

The Lee County Board was approached by the Blackhawk Trail Riders Club around 5 years ago to draft an ordinance allowing UTVs on county roads with the larger goal of creating a trail system throughout the area.

The Dixon City Council created a UTV program as well as the Dixon Park District and other towns and townships, but the county had reservations with safety, liability and state law.

Club members recently returned to the board, and an ordinance was later introduced. Board members said they thought too many unanswered questions remained, and they formed a special committee to go through the ordinance and make changes as necessary.

One concern has been speed limits and whether the county needs to lower them for UTVs. Another is the having UTVs on Lowell Park Road.

“We need to figure out the roads they would be allowed on,” said board member Jack Skrogstad, who also is chairman of the committee.

The group will be working with County Engineer Dave Anderson and the county’s public waste and transportation committee on road studies and potential traffic impact.

Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said they will need to come up with criteria for the studies, and Anderson is reaching out to other counties for input as well.

The fees and permitting process is still being worked out, and the county might look to partner with the city on collecting fees rather than doing it in-house.

Simonton said the committee needs to focus on getting villages and cities on board with a county ordinance, and Skrogstad said they should have a good draft in place first.

The committee’s next meeting will be Oct. 19.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.