Unknown four-wheeler riders are causing thousands of dollars in damage to sewer rights of way in Claremont.
Claremont City Council discussed the situation at its Sept. 7 meeting after council member P.J. Stanley spent several hours reviewing the damage with Public Works director Tom Winkler.
“They spin it up, tear it up and mess up our rights of way,” Stanley said in a presentation to council members. “It damages it to the point that it costs thousands in damage to the right of way.”
The sewer rights of way are spread throughout Claremont, and they carry sewer and waste away from the city. Stanley showed council members images of the damage, which includes deep tire treads around sewer rights of way.
“Council will look at this problem and see if we can come up with some kind of line item to deter this kind of destruction,” said Claremont Mayor David Morrow.
Sewer rights of way throughout the city always need maintenance, but Morrow said the damage caused by four-wheeled vehicles should be prevented.
“There are bound to be some areas in disrepair,” Morrow said. “There are a number of those in city townships that need repair, but it’s hard to say who’s causing this damage. Sometimes hunters will ride on the open trails and think they’re on private land, when they’re actually on city-maintained land.”
Morrow said he suspects adolescents who ride around the city for fun cause the damage. He advises anyone who intends to ride through Claremont on a four-wheeled vehicle to “use common sense” and keep an eye out for a manhole cover protruding from the ground.
“The city is intent on finding information about the damage,” Morrow said, adding that charges will be filed if necessary.