Posted 8/09/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
A plan for a go-kart racing club hit a roadblock, but there still may be options.
Dorn Martinson completed the building of a racing track on his land north of Tioga and wanted to start a club for like-minded people.
He approached the Tioga Park Board to see if they’d be interested in getting involved with the project, but the board pointed out a problem with using the track.
The track can only be reached by going across the dam or up ND 40.
Going up the highway is obviously too dangerous even if it were legal, and state law requires vehicles to meet certain specifications, such as horns and brake lights, in order to use them on city streets.
Likewise, the city prohibits these vehicles on the dam.
The restrictions came about during the boom when lots of people were abusing the privileges, causing damages to the road, operating unsafely, and making a lot of noise.
Commissioner Tim Sundhagen suggested Martinson approach the commission, which he did at the last regular meeting, to see what options he might have to ease the restrictions and create a route out to his land.
Martinson told the commission he’s lived here 45 years and recalls that they used to be able to ride their dirt bikes, ATVs, and go-karts out to the country.
“If you went straight out of town, they left you alone,” he said.
Following the complaints from residents during the boom, the police began enforcing the law.
Sundhagen pointed out that he still rides his snowmobile around town, but City Attorney Ben Johnson said snowmobiles are a whole “different animal,” legally speaking.
Martinson said they used to also take a trail out north of the Farm Festival building, but now that’s all built up, and the city prohibits the vehicles on the Farm Festival parking lot for the same reason they banned them on the dam.
“There’s no way out of town,” Martinson said.
Sundhagen pointed out you can still see people riding ATVs, go-karts, and dirt bikes out of town, and it’s reasonable to expect some flexibility with this issue.
“This isn’t New York City,” Sundhagen said.
The commission agreed to look at the issue and consider what options can be permitted.
Martinson is in the process of developing some route maps to propose and the commission will revisit the issue Monday night.
“I think we can come up with something,” Sundhagen said.