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Trail closed to snomobiles

"I witnessed snowmobiles traveling at a high rate of speed while people were walking on the trail," Larmann said.

Larmann said he had a vision for the trail that in time would become a regional and local asset to the community. He said bicyclists and people pushing baby carriages could take advantage of that asset. Larmann said many hikers use post offices in local towns to receive mail and packages. The trail also is used for cross-country skiing.

"We want to certify that section [of the trail] so that it meets standards," Larmann said. Standards required by the North Country Trail Association.

Larmann cited not only snowmobiles as being a problem but all-terrain vehicles, that he said, frequently use the walking trails. Motorized vehicles and horses are prohibited from the trails.

Larmann said he felt the signage was not adequate and could have been more defined.

"The signs didn't go up until after it snowed," Larmann said. "You couldn't see the blacktop."

"Somehow we've got to designate the blacktop is off limits," said Mayor Todd Rouse.

Now the problem seems to be how to remove snowmobiles from an area that the village designated for use.

"We can try to police it but it's difficult from a car," Rouse said. "If you need a snowmobile mine is here."

Zophy suggested possibly putting up cameras.

"We can identify the usage and put signage up," Zophy said. There's no simple solution. We can't be there all the time."

Zophy said Canastota is the only village in Madison County that still allows snowmobiles on its streets, which was designed to keep them off private property.

"We are forced to close [the trail]" said Trustee Scott Rapasadi. "We don't want the liability."

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