Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:54
Work-site utility vehicles likely will be allowed access to city streets, but the jury—in this case the Hillsboro City Council—is still out on golf carts.
The council addressed the issue again at its Sept. 22 meeting, and seemed to back away from allowing golf carts free access to local streets and alleys.
Councilor Byron McCarty, retired chief of police, said he thought it was “unsafe” to give golf carts access to streets throughout the city, but was open to allowing them to drive a direct route to and from the golf course.
Councilor Kevin Suderman raised the issue of child-safety seats in golf carts. He and Councilor Bob Watson questioned whether they could be fitted for a golf cart—even if an ordinance would require it.
If the ordinance wouldn’t require safety seats, could the city be held liable in the event of an accident?
City Administrator Larry Paine said the safety-seat issue wasn’t addressed in the model ordinances provided by the League of Kansas Municipalities, but added, “No parent would put a child in that situation.”
The council instructed Paine to separate the issues of work-site vehicles and golf carts into different ordinances. Members indicated they were ready to approve access for work-site vehicles but wanted more time to consider golf carts.
For either type of vehicle, the ordinance will require lights and turn signals, proof of insurance, safety and title inspections, prominent display of a “slow-moving vehicle” sign, and a city-issued license prominently displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
The issue first arose in August when Tabor College asked permission to cross D Street with its work-site vehicles so staff members could more easily service both halves of the campus.
Mayor Delores Dalke, who was absent from the Sept. 22 meeting, had previously voiced her preference for a “looser” ordinance that would grant access to both work-site vehicles and golf carts.
In other matters, the council:
n heard Paine report that final engineering plans for the reconstruction of a section of North Ash Street have been submitted to the state. He said it’s possible the project, to be funded mostly with federal stimulus dollars, could begin by mid-December.
n approved the selection of Midwest Public Risk as the health-insurance provider for employees of the city of Hillsboro and authorized participation a dental plan at $13 per month per employee. The plan also includes vision coverage.
n named Mayor Dalke as the city’s delegate to this year’s meeting of the National League of Cities.
n noted a letter of thanks from Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft for the way city staff contributed labor during the Marion County Fair and Fire Jam concerts.
n approved the routine adoption of the 2009 Standard Traffic Ordinance and the Uniform Public Offense Code.