Aldermen discuss use of city property by motorcycle group

Canton Daily Ledger by Larry Eskridge

September 26. 2012 10:08AM

Members of the newly reformed Canton Motorcycle Club met with the Canton City Council Mechanical Committee Tuesday to discuss using city property for their events.
President Dave Edsall, Vice President Matt Adams, and Secretary Matt Westlake asked the committee members to consider the use of a parcel of land in the northeast corner of North 20th Street for club activities. The land had been used in the past by the previous motorcycle club.
The new club, which is affiliated with the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), has approximately 30 members.
Westlake presented a rough draft of a proposal which would give permission for the club to clean the area and put in trails. They would also manage any trespassing in the area.
Adams noted there had been some "touchy" issues with the club's use of the property in the past. He suggested representatives of the city and local landowners meet with the club and discuss issues. Rules would be voted on and enforced by the club.
"We are trying to put together something that works with everyone and we are open to suggestions," Adams said.
Alderman Dave Pickel noted that, while he was in favor of the idea, he foresaw issues with the neighbors if people were out riding in the area every day.
Adams added that the club had previously been in existence for 40 years until an incident occurred which was not handled properly by club spokesmen, leading to the club's demise, He said that having neighbors, as well as the city, being part of any club decisions about the use of the property would help alleviate such problems.
Alderman Eric Schenck, Chairman of the Lake, Buildings, and Grounds Committee, said he supported the club's request and suggested the group start with some special events to find out the logistics involved and then expand from there.
Schenck also suggested having club officials meet with Public Works personnel to get recommendations. Schenck, Pickel, and Alderman Justin Nelson agreed to be part of the process.
Adams said the club would be willing to meet with city officials. He added the club had no specific time frame in which to work, noting any events for next summer would have to be approved in December according to AMA requirements.
Adams also said the club would be looking at specific proposals to be brought before the council at a later date.