Snowmobilers seek access to town highways

GUILFORD — Mike Tkaczyk of the Guilford Pitstoppers snowmobile club appeared at the Jan. 11 Selectboard meeting to request access to town highways.

According to Title 23, Chapter 29 of the Vermont statutes, “A snowmobile shall not be operated ... on a public highway, unless the highway has been opened to snowmobile travel by the selectmen [sic] or trustees or local governing body and is so posted by the municipality."

Tkaczyk told board officials a closure in the state's trail system interferes with inter-trail connectivity, and it is common for towns to open portions of their roads to snowmobilers.

His request was for access to a 792-foot segment of Stage Road, between numbers 228-422. Additionally, the club wants to use a 0.2-mile part of Sweet Pond Road, near number 2336, leading to Abijah Prince Road, then a 0.7-mile segment of that road.

Members of the board asked Tkaczyk some questions about laws governing the operation of snowmobiles. He reassured them snowmobilers would “ride the shoulder [of town roads] as much as possible,” and that riders needed to maintain insurance, and earn a certificate from a rider education course.

Board member Dick Clark assured potential snowmobilers the Vermont State Police patrol the trails. His colleague Troy Revis noted the state's game wardens do the same.

Tkaczyk told board members the Pitstoppers are working with Highway Foreman Dan Zumbruski to make sure the trails have adequate signage, and the club will pay for those signs.

The motion, “to authorize the request by the Guilford Pitstoppers to allow snowmobile travel on the sections of Town Highways presented by Mike Tkaczyk,” was made by Board member Anne Rider, and passed unanimously.

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