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Snirt Run ignored laws, damaged property

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After reading the article, “Snow brings woes for Snirt Run” on April 16, I felt compelled to write. The article should have been named, “Snirt Run brings woes for Lewis County residents.”

According to the article, hundreds of people were stranded across Tug Hill in mud and snow. Emergency vehicles and personnel were utilized to rescue people until 1:30 in the morning.

The state police, Sheriff’s Department and Department of Environmental Conservation were patrolling in full force. Will the organizer of this event be reimbursing the state and local governments for the use of the equipment and manpower? Who is going to reimburse the farmer whose crops were ruined? Were any tickets handed out for riding on closed streets and roads, trespassing, DWI or unregistered vehicles? This would have helped to offset some of the expenses of this event. Instead the taxpayers will pick up the tab.

We personally witnessed the DEC escorting a group of all-terrain vehicles down Route 26 and up James Street in Constableville. Since when are recreation vehicles allowed on state highways? The village of Constableville streets are not open to ATVs either. From 8 a.m. until the evening hours, several hundred ATVs rode through the streets of Constableville disrupting the peaceful existence that one should expect in their own home. The local convenience store had a sign promoting free parking for ATVs. How were the riders supposed to get from the store to the hill? Whom should we blame? The people who were invited and came to the Snirt run or the people who organized, promoted and endorsed it?

The reason that some of them ended up riding on closed streets was because the minimum maintenance roads on the hill were impassable. Did anyone think that perhaps the event should have been canceled or postponed due to the amount of snow and mud on the hill? I am disappointed in the county government for endorsing such an event knowing well the destruction and chaos that it creates. Did the unemployment rate go down since the weekend with all the new jobs the event created? It appears that no matter how much poor publicity the event gets the show must go on.

How do we decide which laws we are going to enforce? Our county slogan should be “Come to Lewis County Where Anything Goes.”

Jeff DeSantis

Constableville

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