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Golf carts on Oswego streets? Board deadlocks on ordinance : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Golf carts on Oswego streets? Board deadlocks on ordinance
Second vote on trial program expected

by John Etheredge


The Oswego Village Board deadlocked in a 3-3 tie vote Tuesday evening on an ordinance that would permit the use of golf carts on streets in the village's Hunt Club Subdivision on a trial basis.

Board members Terry Michels, Tony Giles and Scott Volpe cast favorable ballots on the ordinance, while board members Gail Johnson, Pam Parr and Judy Sollinger cast negative votes.

Village President Brian LeClercq was absent from the meeting .

Board members, however, agreed to complete a second public reading of the ordinance and consider another vote when they gather for their next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 1.

Under the ordinance, residents of the Hunt Club Subdivision who wish to drive golf carts on designated subdivision streets would be required to obtain a permit from the village. The permits would cost $25 each.

The pilot program would be in effect from July 17 to June 30, 2015.

The ordinance would prohibit the driving of golf carts on sidewalks or other public property not accessible for vehicular traffic or on local state or federal highways.

The ordinance also would require golf cart operators to be licensed drivers in the State of Illinois and have insurance. In addition, cart owners would also have their vehicles inspected by a certified inspector "to verify that public safety will not be jeopardized" by their use on subdivision streets. The inspections would be required prior to the village issuing the golf cart owner an operator's permit.

The ordinance would limit the hours in which golf carts could operate on subdivision streets to between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. In addition, the carts could lawfully operate only on village streets where the posted speed limit is 25 mph or less. Drivers would also not be able to cross any streets where the posted speed limit is in excess of 35 miles per hour.

The village would also place signs in the subdivision to alert motorists of the possible presence of golf carts on the streets.

At prior board meetings, Police Chief Dwight Baird and Capt. Jeff Burgner have both expressed concerns about permitting golf carts on village streets.

In a memo to the board, Burgner wrote, "I would not recommend approving the use of golf carts on village streets based on safety concerns."

Burgner noted golf carts "are designed for use on golf courses. They do not have the structural design to allow for collisions with motor vehicles."

The idea of permitting golf carts on village streets was first raised by a former village board member, Lori West, in 2008. The board, however, took no action after obtaining information from village police at that time.

Last August a resident of the Hunt Club Subdivision asked the board to consider permitting golf carts. The board later gave direction to village police and staff to again research the issue.

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