Editorial: Keeping snowmobile route a progressive move by city

It would appear snowmobiling in part of Alpena’s city limits will become permanent.

That is the indication of City Engineer Rich Sullenger who, after a winter where snowmobiling use could be fairly assessed, believes the pros outweigh the negatives.

In a newspaper story this week Sullenger said he was ready to go before council and recommend snowmobiles be allowed to operate on the designated trails permanently now.

“This has been a priority for the council for some time and I think it was successful,” he said of this year’s winter evaluation.

As a proponent of snowmobile use through the city, we’re glad to hear his comments. We believe snowmobile use will only increase in the years ahead, and we think Alpena businesses will stand to benefit from that increased traffic.

Frankly, it was the conduct of the snowmobilers that got us to this point. Had there been complaints, had their been excessive noise, disrespect of personal property or disregard for traffic rules, Sullenger and the city would have had no choice but discontinue the experiment. However, that was not the case, and we applaud all those users who took advantage of the city route responsibly and respectfully.

We’re glad it appears that snowmobiles soon will be allowed on designated routes within Alpena. Such a decision would seem progressive and beneficial to the community at a time of the year when businesses could use a boost in traffic.