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Fairbanks City Council prohibits All-Purpose Vehicles on public roads, delays vax stance

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:10 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:09 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - All-Purpose Vehicles are set to be officially prohibited on public roadways in Fairbanks following a regular meeting of the Fairbanks City Council on November 22.

In a vote of 5 to 1, the council passed an ordinance banning the use of these vehicles on any public road in the city.

The ordinance is scheduled to take effect on January 1st. The state of Alaska is scheduled to allow such vehicles on public roads throughout the state on that same day.

The state Department of Administration, in allowing All-Purpose Vehicles on public roads, left the door open for local bans.

At the meeting, both Fairbanks Police Chief Ron Dupee and Fire Chief Tod Chambers testified in favor of the ordinance.

The council also heard public testimony about the ordinance, which proved largely in favor of the prohibition.

For instance, in his public testimony, Nathan Belz remarked, “With respect to Ordinance 6186, I encourage the City Council and Mayor Matherly to prohibit the use of All-Purpose vehicles, as the ordinance is presented currently, on public roadways within the City of Fairbanks. I firmly believe that ignoring the safety warnings affixed to ‘All-Purpose Vehicles’ is negligent, disregarding the concerns of our local fire and police chiefs.”

After passing the ordinance, the council considered a resolution, proposed by councilmember Jim Clark, discouraging local businesses from requiring patrons to be vaccinated.

After discussion, the council voted to postpone the resolution until their next regular meeting on December 6th in order to give Clark time to adjust the language of the resolution.

Councilmember Jerry Cleworth said, “I don’t know how to help you rewrite this. The way it’s written, I’m probably going to vote against it, but if it were written in such a way that we let businesses make up their decisions, then I would support it.”

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