ATV travel on Highway 71 is still prohibited, but riders should have more route options in Milford following action by the Milford City Council.
Effective Wednesday, Feb. 6, residents will be allowed to operate ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles) and UTVs (utility vehicles) on all city streets except Highway 71. The ATV ordinance received approval at Monday's Milford City Council meeting.
Milford's expiring ATV ordinance prohibited off-road vehicles on all city streets.
"It all started last summer when the city of Spirit Lake started moving forward on their ATV ordinance," said Milford City Administrator Matt Skaret. "The city council discussed it and wanted to have an ordinance drafted that would allow ATVs in the streets of Milford."
State law still restricts ATV use on Highway 71. Riders can only cross the highway at designated intersections - Skaret said the city is looking at the 6th Street and 10th Street intersections. The decision is pending Iowa Department of Transportation approval. For now, ATV riders will not be permitted to cross the highway.
Operation hours for ATVs will be from sunrise to sunset and will be in effect year round under the new ordinance. Drivers must have a valid driver's license and be at least 16 years of age. They must obey all the traffic laws and not exceed 25 mph. A lighted head-lamp and an orange flag must be mounted on the vehicle.
"There hasn't really been any opposition," Skaret said of the ordinance. "Our police chief has expressed some concerns about public safety, but other than that we haven't had any one speak out."
The new ordinance does not address snowmobile use in Milford. Barring emergency situations, snowmobiles are only allowed on city streets to take a direct route out of town or to a designated snowmobile trail.