Council tweaks proposed ordinance on golf carts, UTVs on streets

    A proposed ordinance that would allow legal operation of golf carts and utility-type vehicles (UTVs) on city streets jumped through its first hurdle Monday night.
    The council had a proposed ordinance in front of them, and made a few changes Monday, advancing it to second reading on June 4.
    Based on the discussion, it appeared the council will take the ordinance through all three required readings before they vote. That would put potential passage or denial at the  June 18 meeting.    
    City Attorney Josh Wendell reviewed details with the council, noting some parts of the ordinance came directly from state statute.
    State statute does not allow golf carts or ATVs on highways. However, the state allows UTVs on highways, but several council members thought it might be confusing by allowing them to travel on Highway 6 through Imperial when golf carts cannot.
    The council favored putting a minimum age of 16 for golf cart/UTV operation on city streets, specifically that an operator “must possess a valid Class O or provisional driving permit and be 16 years of age.”
    Other ordinance requirements include yearly registration/inspection at the city office where a fee will be assessed, a flag or sticker to be displayed, proof of liability insurance on the cart or UTV and no trailers attached.    
    Wendell noted the city can make its ordinance stricter than what state statute allows.
    Regarding the fee, $100 was discussed at the council meeting earlier this month, but has not been set. Such charges are addressed in a separate fee ordinance which the council will also review later.
    Randy Bartlett, Marla Smith and Jim Hayes, who were at the meeting, felt  a $100 fee was excessive.
    Council member Doug Gaswick said their concerns would be taken into consideration.
    “It’s all up for discussion,” he said.
    Council President Charlesa Kline responded that the reason for regulation is for the safe use of such vehicles.
    The city’s estimated cost for an identifying flag/sticker is about $30, it was noted.
    Council member Johna Jablonski noted there was discussion of waiving that fee if the driver possesses a handicap sticker.
    Council members voted 3-0 to advance it to second reading. More discussion on the proposed ordinance is expected at the June meetings.

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