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Snowmobilers cause problems for Fairfax homeowners

Published: Feb. 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Imagine looking out your front window to see a snowmobiler whip through your yard. It’s been a reality for several homeowners in Fairfax including Alli Jakoubek.

“You can still see the tracks a little bit and they came right along the side there, like I felt like I could almost reach out my window and give them a high five,” Jakoubek told us.

Unfortunately, Jakoubek isn’t alone.

“The tracks going through my yard just you know really just a couple of feet from our front porch, and the noise and I was like oh my god,” Margo Jarosz, another resident, said.

For some, the snow-capades have caused costly damage.

“I actually had them damage my downspouts which help keep water out of my basement. And I know a couple of other homeowners have had retaining wall damage and they’ve damaged their landscaping,” Jakoubek said.

There’s not much the Iowa Department of Natural Resources can do unless a homeowner wants to file trespassing charges, but they can patrol the area to check that riders have the proper documentation. The DNR has increased patrols in the area since hearing about the issues.

“The state of Iowa you have to have current 2021 registration, a 2021 trail pass and insurance,” Angela Jansen, a conservation officer for the Iowa DNR, said.

Around 50 snowmobiling clubs across Iowa work together on a trail system that is long enough to take riders from across the state, to the Minnesota state line. The Iowa Snow Drifters are one of those clubs, and they put in a lot of time on a groomer so people to ride safely.

“We’re putting in almost 1,000 hours of volunteer labor that we’re going out and cleaning these trails,” Derrick Parker, a club member, said.

They even add signs so riders know where to go.

“When we see people that are violating the law or irritating landowners it’s a problem for us as well,” Parker said.

Parker said the club wasn’t aware of the problem in Fairfax until KCRG-TV9 reached out to them last week. It’s already led to brand new signage near Jarosz’s home.

“They took care of things, so really I’m quite pleased,” Jarosz said.

Jarosz hoping this means these problems will melt away, unlike the snow at the moment.

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