ATV ordinance

Cove is one of the newest cities to allow ATVs on city roads.

The day is fast approaching when people will be legally riding all-terrain vehicles to pick up groceries or visit the post office in Cove.

An ATV ordinance in Cove is set to take effect on

Oct. 31 that will make it

legal for people to ride ATVs on almost all roads in the City of Cove. The ordinance was adopted by the Cove City Council by a 4-0 vote on

Oct. 1.

The only roadway in Cove where ATVs will not be allowed once the ordinance is in place will be Antles Lane, which is on the border of the city limits.

Cove is now one of four towns in Union County that have ordinances allowing for the operation of ATVs within their city limits. The others with ATV ordinances are Imbler, Elgin and Union. In addition, ATVs can now also be operated on roadways under the jurisdiction of Union County. The Union County Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance allowing this on Aug. 8. The Union County ordinance took effect the same day it was passed.

Cove City Councilor Matt McCowan said that many people in his community already ride ATVs in town. Part of the reason he wanted an ATV ordinance passed was so the city could put rules in place for ATV riders that would promote safety.

“(The ordinance) will maintain our quality of life in Cove,” he said. 

He also said ATVs are a useful part of the lives of many Cove residents. 

He said the people already riding ATVs in Cove use them not only for recreation but also for essential tasks like getting gasoline for their lawn mowers and plowing snow.

Scott Franks, a retired

La Grande Police Officer, is another Cove resident in favor of the ordinance.

“I fully support it. It is definitely worth a try,” he said.

Franks said that it could help tourism by making Cove part of a network of towns ATV riders could ride through “seamlessly.”

Franks said he has not heard anyone in Cove say they are opposed to the ordinance.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to has said they are all for it,” he said.

Everyone riding an ATV will be required to adhere to state laws. This means that all drivers operating ATVs will have to be 16 years or older and hold a valid driver’s license. It also means that everyone under 18 years of age will be required to wear a helmet while driving or as a passenger on an ATV. These are just a portion of the rules the ATV ordinance will require riders to follow. 

A written copy of the ATV ordinance is available at Cove City Hall for the public to read.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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