Golf carts on Main Street?

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City council looks at allowing golf carts on public roads

By Shannon Brock

A golf course might not be the only place you’ll see your neighbors cruising around in golf carts. If Lawrenceburg follows the suit of some other Kentucky cities, golf carts could become a frequent sight even on Main Street.

Mayor Edwinna Baker told city council members at Monday’s work session that she had been approached by an individual who would like the council to consider allowing golf carts on public roads.

Councilman Larry Giles said he had also heard a similar request.

Last year, the state legislature approved KRS 189.286, which allows local governments to permit the operation of golf carts on public roadways.

Some Central Kentucky cities, including Winchester, have already passed ordinances allowing the small vehicles.

This was the first time golf cart usage was up for discussion by the council. Monday’s meeting was a work session and no formal action could be taken. The council plans on looking at other cities’ ordinances before going any further.

Golf carts would not have free reign on all roadways. The Kentucky Revised Statute sets several regulations regarding the vehicles.

According to the statute, a golf cart is defined as any self-propelled vehicle that is designed for use on a golf course, has a minimum of four wheels, does not operate at a speech of more than 35 mph, is designed to carry no more than six people, has a maximum gross vehicle weight of 2,500 pounds, has a maximum rated payload capacity of 1,200 pounds and meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for low-speed vehicles.

Golf carts would only be allowed on public roadways within “5 road miles of an entrance to a golf course,” the statute says.

Under the statute, golf carts for public roadways would be required to have and display a permit issued by the local government and be inspected by a certified inspector.

The carts would only be allowed on roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less and would not be allowed to cross roadways with a speed limit above 35 mph.

The operator would have to be a licensed a driver and could only drive the cart between sunrise and sunset.

Golf carts would have to be insured and proof of insurance would need to be inside the cart at all times. Golf carts would be subject to traffic regulations.

In other business, Mayor Baker said members of the Bob-O-Link Heights community have been inquiring about what it would take to get hooked onto the city sewer.

In order to get city sewer services, an area has to be within city limits and the area in question is not, so it would need to be annexed, Baker said. Annexation can only occur if 51 percent of households request or approve of it.

Council members said they would consider the issue if a formal request was brought before the council.

Also, the council addressed the city’s ordinance regarding cemetery operations.

Some community members had previously brought concerns before the council about decorations currently in the cemetery that violate the ordinance.

The city already sent a letter to families with wooden crosses on gravesites asking them to remove them because they do not comply with the ordinance. Wooden monuments of any kind are not allowed on gravesites in the cemetery.

City Attorney Robert Myles said he had gotten some response to the letters. A woman whose family has more than one of the wooden crosses at the cemetery spoke with him at city hall, Myles said. Her main concern was that if the section of the ordinance regarding wooden monuments was going to be enforced that all the other sections should be as well.

Several council members, who had recently been to the cemetery, said the wooden crosses are still up, along with lights, statues, fences and flowers that are also in violation.

The full council referred the issue back to the Public Works Committee to make a recommendation on whether the current ordinance should be enforced or if the council needs to create new rules.

The committee meeting has not yet been scheduled.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.