The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners met in a special session on Tuesday, July 17, 2001, at 8:05 a.m. in the Courtroom of the Chippewa County Courthouse.

Present: Commissioners: Dale, Cooper, Laioie and Chairman McDowell

Absent: Commissioners: Postula, Hopper and Kay

Also Present: Timothy Dolehanty, Controller, Diane S. Cork, County Clerk, Kelly Beaune, Ass’t. To the Controller, Tom McBryde, Under Sheriff

Chairman McDowell stated the reason for the special board meeting was to discuss and/or act on the proposed ORV Ordinance.

Commissioner Cooper would like to see the ordinance pass and let the townships exclude the roads they want.

Chairman McDowell was informed that Whitefish Township would like to have Wire Road and Superior Drive excluded.

In reviewing the proposed ordinance, Commissioner Dale would like to have the ordinance in effect for six (6) months so a review process could take place to study the effects of the ordinance.

It was moved by Commissioner Dale, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to change the wording on the ordinance to reflect the ordinance will be in effect for six (6) months and not one (1) year. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner Cooper, supported by Commissioner LaJoie, to approve the following O.R.V. Ordinance:


O.R.V. ORDINANCE Ordinance #2

An ordinance of the County of Chippewa pursuant to Public Act 319, of 1975, Section 3 1, as amended, for the regulation, and establishing access routes for the operation of off-road recreational vehicles and to provide penalties for non compliance:


1. Section 1. As used in this Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply:

a. “Public Highway” or “Public Roadway” means that portion of a county road that is improved, maintained and used by the public for vehicular travel, including any improved shoulders.

b. “Operate” means to ride in or on, and be in actual control of the operation of an ORV.

c. “ORV” or “Off-Road Vehicle” means a motor driven off-road recreational vehicle capable of cross-country travel without benefit of a road or trail, on an immediately over land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. It includes, but is not limited to, a multi-track or multi-wheel drive or low pressure tire vehicle, an amphibious machine, a ground effect air cushion vehicle, or other means of transportation driven by power from a source other than muscle or wind. “ORV” or vehicle does not include a snowmobile, a farm vehicle being used for farming, a vehicle used for military, fire, emergency, or law enforcement purposes, a construction or logging vehicle used in performance of its common thnction. This includes, but is not limited to, ORVs commonly known as 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers.

d. “Access” means to a place where ORVs can be lawfully operated.

Section 2. ORVs, other than ORVs that are also licensed as to be lawfully driven on the roads and highways of this county such as pick-up trucks, shall be operated for access as follows:

a. within the outer five feet, at the right side, of all “Seasonal Roads,” as established by the Chippewa County Road Commission, within Chippewa County.

b. within the outer five feet, at the right side, of the following “Non-Seasonal” roads, or the following portions thereof:

1. All roads in Dafter Township

2. All roads in Soo Township

3. All roads in Sugar Island Township

4. Wire Road, for its entire length, in Superior Township

5. Superior Drive, for its entire length, in Superior Township

Section 3. While operating an ORV on Chippewa County Public Highways, or “Public Roadways,” as allowed above, the operator must:

a. Be 16 years of age or older.

b. Drive in a single file manner.

c. At a speed not to exceed 15 miles per hour.

d. Yield to all pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

e. NOT OPERATE within county owned parks.

f. NOT OPERATE in any area closed by Governmental authority.

g. NOT OPERATE one hour after sunset and not until one hour prior to sunrise.

h. Comply with State of Michigan ORY Act.

Section 4. Any person who violates this ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no more than $500.00 or imprisonment for 90 days, or both, and the frill restitution of any damages caused or experienced as a result thereof

Section 5. The Chippewa County Board of Commissioners or the Chippewa County Road Commissioners may rescind ORV operation on the public highways or public roadways or portions thereof, set out in Section 2 of this ordinance, with appropriate notices being given to the other, to the public and posting signs on the closed portion.

Section 6. This ordinance, which shall become effective 30 days after its publication in The Evening News and the Community Voice and any other newspapers of genera! circulation within Chippewa County. and shall be in effect for six (6) months thereafter.


A Brimley area residents thought that by passing this ordinance, it would opening the doors for motorcycles, all terrain jeeps etc. He stated the right of way does not belong to the County. He wanted to know who would be liable if an accident should happen.

Commissioner McDowell said the State passed a law allowing Counties to operate on road shoulders and the liability to the County was none, unless gross negligence was to occur. This ordinance was designed after the one Luce County has and they have received no complaints.

Commissioner Dale explained that the ordinance will be under close scrutiny and in six months will be reviewed again for complaints and problems.

Jill Soulliere would like to see the ordinance changed to allow the ORVs to operate after dark, until 10:00 p.m.

Commissioner Dale would like to keep the ordinance the way it is for six months.

Commissioner LaJoie thought by allowing the ORVs out past dark, there might be a conflict with hunters.

Ms. Soulliere stated if hunters can go in and out after dark, why no ORVs. It was suggested that this question be addressed to the D.N.R.

Charlie McLeod, on behalf of his daughter and son-in-law who live on Neebish Island, would like to be able to drive their ORVs from their home on Neebish Island to the ferry and back again.

On the motion: On a voice vote, Chippewa County Ordinance #2, O.R.V. Ordinance, the motion carried.

It was moved by Commissioner LaJoie, supported by Commissioner Cooper, to adjourn. Motion carried. Thereupon the meeting did adjourn at 8:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane S. Cork, Clerk

Gary McDow Chairman