The Odessa Record -

Town Council

Council approves ORV use in town


March 16, 2017

With the White Knuckle and Frostbite races set to begin the weekend of March 25-26 and the Desert 100 endurance race coming to town the following weekend, the members of the Odessa Town Council met Monday evening and approved an ordinance allowing the riding of off-road vehicles such as dirt bikes, as long as they are properly equipped, to drive on Odessa’s streets, thereby making it possible for more of the race visitors to come into town for shopping or any kinds of events that might be taking place. Recent changes in state law have given municipalities greater decision-making power regarding the use of roadways within their limits.

The first weekend of races take place only about a mile south of town, and it is likely that people attending the races would come to town if they had the opportunity. The Desert 100 races that occur the following weekend have grown to the point where the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club has opted to open up their campsite eight miles southwest of town on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning. The competition for prime camping spots can be fierce. Once camped, the race visitors often have no transportation other than their racing bikes. Odessa Chamber president Zach Schafer, working with police chief Tom Clark, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Dept. of Transportation and other interested parties, appealed to the council to approve the proposed ordinance. Several business owners in the downtown area will very likely see an uptick in business on both weekends as a result.

Animal control

Much of Monday night’s meeting was also taken up by the growing problem of the feral cat population in town. Hospital maintenance supervisor Abby Reyes brought the hospital’s concerns to the council about the problems on the medical campus. He said the animals have figured out how to get into the dumpsters looking for food. They have also ingested things such as pieces of rubber gloves which have been regurgitated onto the grounds. There is concern that the situation could result in a vector for disease transmission.

Chief Clark proposed an ordinance detailing steps to be taken to combat the problem. During the council’s discussion, dogs at large were also discussed, and Clark said he was also reworking the ordinance pertaining to that issue. The discussion went on at such length that the council ultimately decided to table the issue and take it up again at its next meeting after they have had time to study it.

Clark added that only 50 dog owners out of the 200 or so who previously had purchased licenses have renewed those licenses this year. He intimated that trying to reunite loose dogs with their owners is not an efficient use of police time and said he hope people would update their animals’ tags soon with current information.

Other issues on the agenda were then discussed. Our report on those items will continue in next week’s Record.


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