If the Ellicottville Village Board has its way, snowmobiles will be firmly latched to trailers as they move down the street.
Trustees voted unanimously Monday night to schedule a March 12 public hearing on a measure to repeal the village's existing snowmobile legislation. The law now on the books allows snowmobile travel over village streets to reach a designated snowmobile trail from any point of origin in the village.
Mayor Charles Coolidge said the law has no teeth, and his proposal for a snowmobile ban has gained support despite the inconvenience to some riders.
He complained that snowmobilers avoid bare pavement to save wear and tear on their tracks and skis and are often seen riding on sidewalks, sometimes at high speeds. Residents fear being struck by snowmobiles, and other risks are posed when riders trespass on the railroad right of way, he said.
Many accused the snowmobilers of damaging landscaping and operating the machines while under the influence of alcohol, he continued. "We had to do something. We discuss this problem for two or three years. There seems to be no let up even though the article has been in the paper about riding snowmobiles on sidewalks. That's against the law," Coolidge said.
The matter will be referred to the village attorney prior to the public hearing, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.