Whitesville Mayor Freddie Harless supports the ATV ordinance that the council produced in a first reading in their regular session earlier this month.

WHITESVILLE — The town of Whitesville hopes to adopt an ATV ordinance after hosting a first reading during its regular June session.

The council communicated that it had reached out to other West Virginia cities and towns that had adopted similar ordinances like Danville, Mannington and Pineville.

“We reached out to see how it has benefited the towns and if there has been any problems,” said Councilman Matt Lively. “What we found was that it was a positive outcome everywhere we checked.”

Last month, a ceremony was held to announce the recommendation of 12 projects that will utilize $27,196,483 in federal grant funding for economic development of abandoned mine land sites across the state. Included was $3,378,000 for the Indian Creek ATV Resort project at Racine.

“We’ve put a lot of time in, as we were hopeful for a trail head,” he said. “We don’t know where we stand there, but we want people to know that there are plenty of trails in our area that people actively ride and we want people to know that ATVs are welcome in town and promote Whitesville as a place to visit while embracing our natural resources that include river access.”

The proposed ordinance states that, “a Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) shall be permitted within or upon the public streets, roads, alleys, ways and crosswalks within the corporate limits of the Town of Whitesville between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.”

The operator of an ATV on town streets would be required to have a valid driver’s license and carry liability insurance on the ATV while meeting standards for operation which include working headlights, taillights and brake lights, according to the proposed ordinance.

Those who utilize the ordinance will be asked to register their vehicle with the Town of Whitesville at a cost of $30 annually, with weekend passes available for $10.

Mufflers must be “manufacturer installed or equivalent” to operate within the town. The ordinance clearly outlines a fine structure for those who operate without registration with penalties starting at $25 for a first offense.

“The goal behind this is to increase traffic in town and increase visitors and utilize that as a secondary benefit for our businesses as a result of that,” Lively added.

In 2019, the Town of Whitesville hosted summer concerts on the Big Coal River Mine Supply Stage that were well attended, including the “Thrill at the ‘Ville” Halloween event that served to raise money for field trips at Whitesville Elementary and provide a safe environment for “trunk or treat” activities.

Lively stated that the town could adopt the ordinance with a second reading during their regular session in July.

The Whitesville City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the council’s chambers at 39140 Coal River Road. Call 304-854-2658 for more information or to inquire about the agenda.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.