Spring election 2023: Salem Lakes to have ATV/UTV referendum in April

The Salem Lakes Village Board approved putting a referendum gauging interest in allowing ATV/UTV use on village roads on the April 4 ballot.

The referendum will be advisory. The vote to hold the referendum was unanimous at a special meeting held Tuesday. (Note: Corrected from earlier version – DH)

The ballot language will say:

Shall the Salem Lakes Village Board adopt an ordinance which would authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles on certain village roads designated as ATV/UTV routes?

The ballot language will go one to explain that a yes vote means the elector favors the adoption of a ATV/UTV ordinance allowing ATV/UTV use on designated village roads and a no vote means the elector opposes the passage of such an ordinance.

The former town of Salem held a similar referendum in 2014 in which ATV use was rejected.

Before the vote, Trustee Dennis Faber suggested adding to the referendum language to gauge support for golf cart use as well. Golf carts, after an inspection and registration, were made legal for use on village roads with 25 mph speed limit last year (Note: Corrected from earlier version — DH) but, Faber pointed out, only seven carts have been registered under the village’s rules, after months of work on the ordinance.

Other trustees argued Faber’s suggestion would make the vote confusiing since golf carts have already been made legal.

“Keeping it separate is better for us,” Trustee Bill Hopkins said.

Trustee Ted Kmiec suggested — and several other trustees agreed — that some kind of meeting where the issue is explained and comment collected would be useful before the April vote.

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