City delays action on golf carts


The Hillsboro City Council took no action at its regular Sept. 1 meeting on a proposed ordinance that would allow special-purpose utility vehicles, including golf carts, to be driven on city streets.

At the previous meeting a week earlier, City Administrator Larry Paine had introduced an ordinance that would allow only work-site vehicles on city streets, and only within specified districts.

Acting on the response of council members and the mayor during and after that meeting, Paine came to the Sept. 1 meeting with a “looser” ordinance that included work-site utility vehicles, micro utility trucks and golf carts on any city street and alley where the speed limit does not exceed 30 mph.

Drivers would need a valid driver’s license; vehicles must be covered by liability insurance, registered and licensed. The vehicles would not be allowed to drive on streets between sunset and sunrise.

J.T. Klaus, who attended the meeting as the city’s bond attorney, commented on the ordinance in his capacity as city attorney for Mulvane, which had considered a similar ordinance.

Klaus said the ordinance, which originated with the League of Kansas Municipal­ities, precludes children as legal drivers but does not address the issue of child-safety seats.

“The formal legal ordinance does require that all drivers be regularly licensed drivers, so you really don’t have the opportunity for children to be racing,” Klaus said. “That’s prohibited as a matter of law.

“And it doesn’t restrict people who would normally be in child-safety seats not to be on golf carts. Some of our cities are saying they really ought to be in child-safety seats. We don’t want them riding on the back of a golf cart across highways.”

Paine suggested that council members review the ordinance for possible action at the next council meeting, Sept. 22.

In other business, the council:

n renewed the liquor license for R&D Liquor in Hillsboro Heights.

n approved the mayor’s appointment of Jana Dalke to replace Willie Entz, whose term has expired on the Museums Advisory Board, and the appointment of Barbara Nowak to succeed Doug Faul on the Recreation Commission.

n heard from Paine that city sales tax for the month of July exceeded receipts from the previous year.

“That’s a very good thing,” Paine said, but also noted that a recent Wall Street Journal article stated that the national economic recession is “now coming to the farm.”


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