A crabby, fun-sucking resident of Mill Hall, PA has ruined the fun for anyone in town with any sort of a recreational vehicle. Effective Tuesday night, the Pennsylvania town banned all ATVs, dirt bikes, trail bikes, motor scooters, mopeds, snowmobiles and any other form of motorized recreational vehicles. What a shame…

Begin Press Release:

MILL HALL, PA – October 25, 2017 – It might be a case of one bad apple.

Tuesday night, Borough Council banned all ATVs from being ridden in Mill Hall. Also banned are dirt bikes, trail bikes, motor scooters, mopeds, snowmobiles and any other motorized recreational vehicles.

The simple, flat-out ban will go into effect 30 days after the vote.

Fifteen people sat in the audience Tuesday, and it seemed that most of them came to speak, or listen to the speakers, about the proposed new law.

Based on what was said at the meeting, a controversy is swirling around one neighborhood, and possibly just one property, where one or more loud motors are creating a disturbance.

Timothy Yost, who lives on Danis Street, seemed to be the resident in question.

Yost stood up at the meeting and pointed to Perry Killinger, saying Killinger rides a Harley and Yost can hear it. He also complained about noise from the business Spook Haven and about neighbors burning plastic.

He has reportedly made 38 complaints recently.

Killinger replied the problems actually stem from “crotch rockets” and full-sized vehicles with no mufflers.

Yost said he has lived at his house for 27 years. Although the police have been to his property numerous times, he said, officers have never warned him that he would be cited over the riding of ATVs.

He said an ATV has been ridden there only twice this month, both times by his 11-year-old grandson.

“There’s no reason to enact an ordinance on little kids,” he said.

According to Killinger, “It hasn’t stopped… it goes on every night.”

Other residents spoke, including Tom Johnson who asked council why it is bothering with a ban when a noisy resident could be charged with disorderly conduct.

Mill Hall Police Chief Brandon Coleman replied that it takes time and multiple incidents to build up to a charge of disorderly conduct, while a ban can be quickly enforced.

Dan McCloskey brought an ordinance from Salisbury Township in Lancaster County that he said goes into detail about where ATVs, four-wheelers and similar vehicles are permitted and where they are not. It even includes set-backs from property lines, so that vehicles might be ridden only where they would not offend immediate neighbors.

McCloskey offered a copy of that ordinance to council. No one took it, until after the vote to enact the ban.

“It makes no sense to me to punish the whole community over incidents,” he said. “If this were a widespread thing… you would hear people barking about it.”

Neighbors are generally farther apart in a township than in a borough, Councilman Roland Weaver said, so a township ordinance might not apply.

Mill Hall used a Millheim ordinance as a guide for its ban.

Councilman Samuel Hoy Jr. said the ordinance should be adjusted further to better fit the borough and made a motion to that effect. It died when no one would second it.

When it came to a vote, three councilmen voted against the ban — Hoy, Vincent Shay Jr., and Warren Jodun.

Voting for it were Weaver, Fredrick C. Bucheit, Rick Hetzel Jr. and Council President Anthony R. Walker.

“We were faced with something we had to take action on. We have done so,” Walker said. “Don’t go out on the social media sites and rip us.”

He also said sometimes innocent people get caught up in something like this, but he supported the all-out ban.

The ordinance was a response to a situation the borough has tried to defuse a half dozen times, the police chief said.

The ban is meant to be restrictive, not punitive, Weaver said. People are alarmed they will be arrested, but the local police will use their judgment, he said.

Christy Gugliocciello spoke about the issue. She also said her son, who accompanied her to the meeting, would no longer ride his small recreational vehicle because that would be breaking the law. Weaver commended her for being a good role model and teaching her son to respect the law.

The ordinance bans ATVs, dirt bikes and other motorized recreational vehicles including trail bikes, motor scooters, Mopeds and snowmobiles. They cannot be ridden in the streets or on property, whether public or private.

The exemptions are:

r Wheelchairs, scooters and similar equipment for people who need them.

r Lawn care, landscaping and snow removal equipment.

r Equipment used for business operations.

r Vehicles used by fire company or for other rescue purposes, and by the government and the military.

r Vehicles ridden in borough-sanctioned events.

The fine for the first offense, which is a summary offense, is $50 to $300, plus costs. The fine for each subsequent offense is $100 to $500, plus costs.