NEW BREMEN- An ATV event, which the county says was illegal amidst the pandemic, has one local lawmaker concerned over a lack of communication, especially with all of the health guidelines in place.
"We had told them ya know 'Look, if it's gonna be twenty guys out on the ATV trails doing a little bit of cleanup, that's fine. It doesn't violate the executive order,'" District Four Legislator Ian Gilbert told us. "But, the issue comes up when, you know, we're not getting good information and when we're getting mixed information and then it requires us to actually go down and see what's going on and it's quite a bit different from what we were told."
The event was held at the Stuck in the Muck Off-Road Park last weekend in New Bremen, right in Gilbert's district. Danielluis Diaz, 30, was killed in an accident there late Saturday night. He was from Blossvale, NY.
County officials were under the impression from event organizer, Eric D. Young, that around 20 people were going to do some trail maintenance. "We rely on honest communication and knowing what's going on in the community," Gilbert said.
However, reports that have developed this past week indicate the event turned out to be much larger than what officials were told.
As the world is fighting against the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Cuomo has banned any and all large type of gatherings until further notice.
Currently, there are seven regions within the state that have been re-opened into phase one. Sliding into phase two means our metrics, including things like infection rate and hospitalizations, need to continue trending downward. If everything continues smoothly, as the North Country has not yet witnessed any alarming spikes in the wrong direction, phase two could begin as early as the end of this month.
In order to keep moving in the right direction, Gilbert says it's important to avoid drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves, especially by going against guidelines. "The effort is really towards keeping our numbers down in terms of our infection rate," he emphasized. "I think our recovery depends a lot on people just being good neighbors."
Listen to our full, on-air interview here: