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Political figures invited for Colton ATV/UTV ride-along

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COLTON — Assemblymen, senators, county legislators and town council members will be riding through parts of Colton Saturday afternoon, but it won’t be in their automobiles.

Dozens of government officials from throughout New York state have been invited to a legislative ride-along beginning at noon at the Long Pond Conservation Easement in the hamlet.

The day also will act as an ATV/UTV awareness day and a grand opening of the Multi-Use Trail System, which covers portions of Parishville, Hopkinton, Colton and Pierrepont.

“A lot of the people with the ATV clubs, they’re helping out with this ride and they’ve invited assemblymen and senators from downstate to show them what a multi-use trail looks like here and what St. Lawrence County has to offer as we open some of these trails,” Multi-Purpose Trail Committee member and county Legislator Scott M. Sutherland said. “We’d also like their support in the future with the operation and money for these trails, especially how we want the law changed about UTVs to increase the weight limit so everybody can register and ride them legally.”

Mr. Sutherland will be leaving his post as a county legislator at the end of the year after opting not to seek re-election.

The easement is located 7.5 miles south of South Colton.

New York is currently the only state in the country where utility vehicles under 1,000 pounds cannot be registered. Proponents for a new law have called for the weight limit to be increased to 1,500 pounds.

Saturday’s ride-along will occur primarily on ATVs but will also include legal UTVs.

“We are welcoming them to drive or to ride. Beforehand we will offer them education on the machines and riding them. We will also always have a leader up front and a guide in the back for the ride,” St. Lawrence County Trails Coordinator Debbie A. Christy said. “We will do about an hour ride on easement and then a luncheon and presentation at The Call of the Wild Kennel in South Colton.”

Trail coordinators from Franklin and Lewis counties also have been invited for the afternoon.

Ms. Christy also said the committee was receiving a good response from legislators and members were collecting RSVPs on Wednesday. “As soon as we finish the final head count we will finalize the number of machines we will be using,” she said. “I really felt that number one — from talking with other political officials — many had not seen these vehicles and did not know what they were. The other part of it this is the grand opening of our trail. It will also act as an awareness day for everyone.”

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