The road to being designated as one of Kentucky’s first trail towns became a little nearer after Preston McLain, Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority ATV representative, spoke to members of the Evarts City Council on Tuesday.
A snag in the designation being considered is the city having access to the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area via KY 2430, also known in part as Kelly Street.
McLain suggested to council members a city ordinance establishing permissible streets of operation of all terrain vehicles within the city of Evarts be amended to include KY 2430, concluding in the Kentucky Revised Statutes 189.515 (6) (c) it authorizes municipalities to designate those public highways, segments of public highways, adjoining rights-of-way public highways under their jurisdiction where all-terrain vehicles that are prohibited may be operated.
“By bringing this highway into the city ordinance it doesn’t mean the city will be annexing Baileys Creek residents into the city,” said McLain. “This is only to designate the highway as ATV friendly. The Department of Transportation and Kentucky’s official view on highways and streets where unlicensed motor vehicles are wanted and travel — they will stay neutral. The mayor has a copy of that letter. It’s not only here but all across Kentucky.”
McLain said the city will be “picking up” another highway or street with ATV traffic, which will create more liability for the city.
“You’ve already got it here within your existing ordinance,” said McLain. “If you take the four-wheelers and trucks out of Evarts, you’ve still got liability every time you run two parades and your block party here. Any time you promote your name in supporting something you’ve taken on limited liability. It was suggested to me to bring this to you as a council asking you to bring KY 2430 into your ordinance where you already have two other state highways included.”
Trail Town Committee member Tony Bowman told council members all of the necessary paperwork has been filed in regard to the trail town designation request for Evarts. He said by including this roadway into the ordinance it will, in his opinion, be the final step before being considered by the state.
“We don’t want to annex this road into the city, because we don’t want the liability that goes with that action,” said Mayor Eddie Manning. “What I need to know, and before I ask the council to amend this ordinance, is a letter or email from Elaine Wilson, who is the executive director of adventure tourism, confirming this is the final and last step in Evarts being considered for the designation of a Kentucky Trail Town.”
McLain said he will contact Wilson and ask her for this correspondence.
The issue was tabled until the city receives correspondence from Wilson.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org