Morrisville parade 2021

A red, white and blue ATV vehicle in Sunday’s 4th of July parade in Morrisville.

A long-anticipated public meeting to discuss the pros and cons of opening some of Morristown’s roads to all-terrain vehicles was postponed this week after thunderstorms threatened to endanger the scheduled outdoor meeting.

Next week, same place: the special meeting of the town selectboard is Tuesday, July 13, at Oxbow Riverfront Park. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and keep an eye on the weather.

Currently, ATVs are not allowed on Morristown roads, even though the ATV riding season started in mid-May and the neighboring towns of Johnson and Hyde Park are allowing riders to use town roads that connect to Morristown. A group of ATV riders wants the town to open some of those connector roads — like Center, Trombley Hill and Silver Ridge — to allow riders access to gas stations, restaurants, groceries and other services.

Proponents tout the extra business revenue ATV riders could bring to the town, as well as the connectivity to other ATV networks.

Opponents worry about safety, both to riders and other motorists, pedestrians and livestock. They have organized and even have a website — atvsonroads.com — detailing their concerns.

Selectboard chair Bob Beeman said he’s never received as many calls or emails on any one topic in his 13 years on the board. Turnout at the meeting is expected to be high, he predicted, thus the decision to host it outside.

Leighton Detora, Stowe’s town moderator, will handle the duties of keeping things civil and on topic.

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