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Council legalizes golf carts on city streets

Golf carts can now be legally driven on Osceola city streets after Osceola City Council passed an ordinance by a 4-1 vote during the Oct. 16 regular meeting.

Dr. George Fotiadis cast the lone vote against passing the ordinance.

In order to operate golf carts on city streets legally, owners must register the golf cart at city hall.

According to the ordinance, the owner or operator “shall pay an annual administrative fee of $25” prior to the issuance of the permit. All permits must be renewed annually.

Additionally, the owner must file proof of insurance, showing liability coverage in “an amount not less than one hundred thousand dollars per person or three hundred thousand dollars per accident, or three hundred thousand dollars combined single limit,” prior to being issued a permit by the city. All permits are void upon sale of the golf cart.

The use of golf carts on city streets follows several other requirements and restrictions, such as carts must be operated by someone who is at least 16 years of age and who owns a valid driver’s license.

The ordinance reads that golf carts must be equipped with a “slow moving vehicle” sign, a bicycle safety flag and operating brakes. Carts must be driven “as close as practical” to the right hand edge of any street, except when executing a left turn. Carts are not permitted to drive on any city sidewalk, walking path, trail or any other part of city right-of-way not designed for vehicle traffic.

Carts are only permitted to be driven from sunrise to sunset.

Operation of golf carts is prohibited, except for crossing, on the following streets: McLane Street from east city limits to west city limits, Main Street from north city limits to south city limits, all of Southwest Boulevard, all of College Drive, all of E Eddy Saylor Parkway, Warren Avenue from its intersection at the northern most boundary line of the railroad right-of-way south to its terminus and West Clay Street from its intersection at North Clarke Street to the west city limits.

Violations of the ordinance are punishable by a $100 fine and revocation of permit to operate.

“How long will it take before ... I mean, we have to get stickers, get slow-moving signs on them. How long will we give grace for golf carts?” asked Councilman Dave Walkup.

“I think if we see golf carts out on the street and they’re not properly identified as being registered per the ordinance, I think there’s going to be an education period where we try to get people into city hall,” City Administrator/Clerk Ty Wheeler said.

In other city council news:

• The council voted 4-1 in favor of adopting a city ordinance amendment pertaining to solid waste containers in the public right-of-way. Under the new ordinance amendment, solid waste containers shall not be left in the public right-of-way for longer than 24 hours after scheduled pick-up.

• Council unanimously approved hosting an intern from Clarke Community School District in the City Administration office.

• Council unanimously approved being stewards of funds set aside for Lauren’s Bark Park, and putting together a committee to look into possible locations for the dog park.

• Council unanimously approved rescheduling the Nov. 6 council meeting to Thursday, Nov. 8, because of the midterm elections.

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