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Snirt snit

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Despite its benefit to hospitality businesses, it’s just as well that the annual Snirt Run has been canceled.

The Barnes Corners Sno-Pals snowmobile club, organizer of the Snirt Run, has been unable to resolve the issue of not having the proper insurance. Club President Gary R. Stinson said the organization obtained a rider on its insurance policy to cover the event and blamed Lewis County legislators for making too many demands.

Mr. Stinson is correct that the club obtained an insurance rider to cover the Snirt Run, which was scheduled for April 12. The problem is that the rider wouldn’t cover anything that occurred as a result of someone using an all-terrain vehicle. And since the Snirt Run is an ATV event, not having them covered defeats the purpose of the rider.

The new members of the Lewis County Board of Legislators finally paid attention to details of the Snirt Run that have been overlooked for years. Board members passed a resolution last month mandating the Barnes Corners Sno-Pals obtain adequate insurance, updated maps, improved signs and barricades.

Mr. Stinson’s announcement Thursday that the event was being canceled caught some people by surprise. Legislators who have been working with club members to ensure they complied with the county’s requirements thought everything was proceeding smoothly.

But Mr. Stinson wouldn’t agree to one of the county’s mandates. Legislators had required the club to perform a final sweep of the route at about 8 or 9 p.m.; this was one mandate too many, he said.

The downside to the event’s cancellation is that many people enjoyed participating in it. And since it drew all these people to the area, hotels and restaurants had very good business when the event was held.

But the Snirt Run also had its downsides. A YouTube video recorded last year showed ATV riders creating a large mud hole in a farmer’s field, leaving extensive damage. To have incidents like this not adequately covered by insurance is too much of a risk for the county and the club to take.

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