May 13, 2021

Take a swing

Council considers forming ordinance to allow golf carts on city streets

Osceola City Council is looking to shoot a hole-in-one with the creation of a new golf cart ordinance on city streets.

During a meeting Tuesday, May 17, Ty Wheeler, city administrator/clerk, provided the council with examples of golf cart ordinances from Pella and Oskaloosa.

These ordinances have restrictions about where the golf carts can be driven on city streets and a driver having to possess a valid motor vehicle license.

Other rules include the golf cart having to be equipped with a slow-moving vehicle sign, safety flag, adequate breaks and operated between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

“I guess this is just a starting point,” Wheeler said.

Osceola Police Chief Marty Duffus informed the council golf carts can cross a public highway, but they are not permitted to drive on it.

How it started

This issue stems from a few years ago when a person drove a golf cart four blocks home from the golf course. The person received a ticket from a state trooper.

“They just wondered why it wasn’t possible to do that within city limits, and I don’t believe any of the chief’s officers have ever stopped anybody, to the best of my knowledge. If they did, I don’t think they received a ticket. I think it’s a good idea,” said Councilman Dennis Page.

“I don’t golf, so I don’t think it’s a good idea,” joked Councilman Dan Hooper. “I won’t let that make my decision.”

Public safety

The mayor and other council members agreed about making this issue safe and legal.

Councilman Dr. George Fotiadis discussed finding what roads should be permitted for golf carts for safety issues, especially concerning speed limits and certain city intersections.

The council authorized having further research done by city officials and law enforcement on the potential creation of a golf cart ordinance and what streets the vehicles should be permitted on.

“I guess I would be willing to look at it with a couple of things — the lighting and visibility features and then maybe the restricted streets, which would probably be pretty obvious, basically the ones I can think of (highways) 69 and 34,” Fotiadis said.

• In other Osceola City Council news, the city council approved the first reading of an amendment to the animal at-large ordinance.

The animal-at-large ordinance currently states it is unlawful for any owner to allow an animal to run at large within the corporate limits of the city.

The new amendment states “admitted violations imposed by this code of ordinances may be charged upon a simple notice of a fine payable at the office of the police department.

The simple notice of a fine shall be in the amount of $50 for all first violations, $100 for all second violations and $150 for all subsequent violations thereafter.”

The idea behind the amendment is to curb repeat offenders who allow their pets to run at large.

The city council clarified, while discussions may have been geared toward dogs on the loose, the ordinance encompasses all animals, including cats.