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ORVs could soon be allowed on Eaton County roads

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 10, 2021

BELLEVUE, Mich. — Eaton County resident Jennifer Dingman and her family own two recreational ORVs and drive them for up to hundreds miles at a time together.

“It’s something we enjoy doing as a family," Dingman said.

Since she cannot legally drive her ORV in Eaton County, Dingman said she and her family must go to neighboring counties for ORV trips—which means the money they spend on gas, food and entertainment goes to those counties, too. She rather support local businesses.

This prompted Dingman to start a Facebook group in July to advocate for a ordinance in Eaton County that would allow more freedom for ORV drivers.

Dingham and her family own two recreational ORVs
Dingham and her family own two recreational ORVs

The members of the Facebook group—which now has over 400 members—started going to public meetings in their local villages and townships before taking it to the county level.

The ordinance is being debated by the Eaton County Board of Commissioners Public Safety Committee.

“I think it would make it a little easier for recreational use, especially in our out-county areas that really have to get creative to spur economic growth or find reasons for fundraisers or support local businesses that might be struggling otherwise," said Brandon Haskell, a member of the committee.

Haskell said the committee is largely open to the idea, as long as public safety and road upkeep are maintained.

However, the ordinance would not apply to every road in Eaton County.

Haskell said it would be up to each township to review the ordinance and then decide whether they would like to comply completely or pass their own ordinance that would prevent ORV usage on some of all of their roads.

Haskell said the ordinance could be ready for a public hearing within the next few months.

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