Snowmobilers driving through private property have become a problem in Youngsville Borough.
Concerned residents brought the issue before Youngsville Borough Council on Monday for discussion.
"This is an ongoing thing every year," said borough resident Scott Barber. He claimed that snowmobiles have been running into his neighbor's bushes and as close as 10 feet to their house. "This has gotten to be ridiculous," he added.
Barber called for the route to be closed.
According to Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg, the trail runs behind the Catholic church in Youngsville along the Brokenstraw Creek. Riders then turn up Coleman Alley toward Fifth Street. The borough does not own any of the property that comprises the trail.
Councilman Steve Morris said he received a call on this issue as well about snowmobilers "going through (the) front yard at all hours and back yard at all hours. If they ripping and tearing... my understanding was that... often times they'll come up out of the church onto N. Main Street."
Morris said that the Warren County Snowmobile Club petitioned council for the route. "We didn't get any feedback from residents before it was approved," he said. "I would say shut the trail down if it is disrupting the residents. It's not the mapped trail."
"What about getting in contact with the snowmobile club?" Councilman Doug Peterson asked. "They agreed to police their own."
"We've been in touch with them," said Borough Police Chief Todd Mineweaser. "It is a problem on any street. When the snow melts, they're going through yards."
He said that some people in the area of Fifth and High streets have put up steel spikes in an attempt to keep snowmobilers out of their yards. The department has caught four snowmobile riders, but Mineweaser acknowledged the challenge of catching snowmobiles while driving police cars.
"What's the solution? I don't know," said Mineweaser. "You get rid of the (trail), they're coming anyways."
He suggested the department might have to borrow snowmobiles for enforcement. "That's the only way we're going to catch them," he said.
"They're still trespassing when they go off that route," he said.
Councilman Rob Olson was hesitant to shut the route down without contacting the snowmobile club in the "hope to sort something out with them."
"Let's get ahold of the snowmobile club," Mayor Jim Farr concluded.