Does Henry County need an ATV/UTV ordinance?

Written by Theresa Rose on April 18, 2019

The public input meeting regarding an ATV ordinance had to be moved from the Henry County Supervisors office to the district court room.  Nearly 50 people attended Thursday morning to hear and share opinions on whether or not Henry County needs an ordinance to allow ATV/UTV’s on the secondary roads.  A show of hands indicated there were three people against an ordinance.  Currently, the county follows Iowa code regarding the regulation of these vehicle on roadways.  Basically, unless you are using one for farm work, it’s illegal to use these types of vehicles anywhere but on private property.  A county ordinance could dictate where, how, and when as well as who. This has come up in the past but the board decided Iowa code was fine.  Recently an individual came before the board with a request for an ordinance.  Des Moines County and Lee County have just lately joined other counties surrounding Henry County by implementing an ordinance.  At the public meeting Thursday there were differing opinions on what an ordinance would say. For example there were different opinions on hours of operation and how permits or license would be handled.  Those in favor overall felt if such an ordinance was written correctly it could be a tool for law enforcement and could even generate money for the county and increase tourism.  Those who want to keep these vehicles off county roads are concerned about safety, trespassers, and road and property damage.