Fargo City Commission to discuss snowmobile ordinance amendment

A Fargo City Commissioner will be asking his fellow commissioners to consider amending the City's existing snowmobile ordinance in Fargo's Municipal Code.

Fargo City Commissioner Tony Gehrig will bring the discussion up.

Among the issues is the current violation of the City's regulations regarding snowmobiles. Currently, violating the regulations is a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of $1,500, 30 days in jail or both a fine and jail time. Gehrig says that is too much.

"Right now, it's the harshest penalty that a city can give to somebody to ride your snowmobile in town," he says. 

Gehrig also wants the city to authorize use of snowmobiles on public roads near the outskirts of the city, which would allow residents to gain access to rural areas for snowmobiling.

"Other cities allow it, and people, that I am aware of, don't have a problem with it," he says. "It's one more thing people can get out and do, we should be encouraging that."

Gehrig stresses the authorized use would be to an extent. For example, people wouldn't be allowed to ride on city streets like Broadway.

The final concept is to permit snowmobile use during major snow events.

The City of Fargo recently approved declaring snow emergencies, in which cars are not allowed to be parked on the streets. Permitting snowmobile use during snow emergencies would allow citizens who are required to go to work to do so.

"People still need to do essential things, like go to the grocery store or get medicine," Gehrig said. "So go do it. I don't see a problem with it."

He says he has not talked to any other Commissioners regarding this proposal, but is "excited to hear what they think."

Monday's City Commission meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the City Commission Chambers at the Fargo City Hall.