County hears second request for golf cart use

During the Thursday payday meeting, Marion County commissioners heard, from a second Marion County Lake resident, about the need to use a golf cart on roads at the lake.

Freddie Barnett and her husband, Ed, told the commissioners she needs to use a golf cart on the public roadways at the lake to visit friends or enjoy lake facilities.

She said that with proper signage on it, a golf cart is much more reliable and stable for her than her wheelchair.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said he is in sympathy with persons with disabilities who want to use golf carts because they can?t walk, but he doesn?t want to create a problem that the county can?t control?from the standpoint of either safety or state legality.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said if an exception is made for drivers with disabilities, they would need to be at least 21 years old.

Commissioner Dan Holub said he would want to make sure that any allowance for golf carts would exclude four-wheelers.

The commissioners said they would consult with Sheriff Rob Craft and do further research before making a decision.

The commissioners visited with lake superintendent Steve Hudson, in his capacity both as a county employee and a self-employed merchant at the lake, about the long hours he is required to put in.

Hudson verified that he usually works from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.

Hudson said salary isn?t an issue since it is fixed per month, and he assured commissioners he is happy with the way things are.

Dallke said the commissioners are reviewing all departments on hours and pay scales to be both fair and economical.

The commissioners discussed the lake as an asset to the county that pays its own way. Fleming said when he was a resident there, it was the most ?peaceful? place he had ever lived.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said his department is doing core drillings on 330th at Tampa to determine surfacing needs.

Herzet told the commissioners that road graders on five-year lease agreements with 7,500 to 8,000 hours of use are coming to the end of their contracts, and a decision will have to be made on whether to purchase them. The department may want to get rid of three old graders, he said.

The commissioners delayed a decision to study the situation.

County Clerk Carol Maggard reported receipt of $54,029 in sales tax from the state collected in January, collected in February, and dispersed to the county in March.

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