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Oswego says 'no' to golf carts : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Oswego says 'no' to golf carts
Trial program to allow carts on streets rejected

by John Etheredge

7/3/2014

The Oswego Village Board rejected an ordinance Tuesday evening that would have allowed the use of golf carts on streets in the village's Hunt Club Subdivision on a trial basis.

Village President Brian LeClercq cast the deciding "no" vote on the ordinance after board members deadlocked in a 3-3 tie vote.

Voting in favor of the ordinance were board members Tony Giles, Scott Volpe and Judy Sollinger. Board members Terry Michels, Pam Parr and Gail Johnson cast the negative votes.

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

The ordinance also would have required golf cart operators to be licensed drivers in the State of Illinois and have insurance. In addition, cart owners would also have had to 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 have been required prior to the village issuing the golf cart owner an operator's permit.

The ordinance would have limited the hours in which golf carts could operate on subdivision streets to between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. In addition, the carts could have lawfully operated only on village streets where the posted speed limit is 25 mph or less and not cross any streets where the posted speed limit is in excess of 35 miles per hour.

At prior board meetings, Police Chief Dwight Baird and Capt. Jeff Burgner 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."

On Tuesday evening, Burgner presented additional information to the board that showed there were at least 12 fatalities involving golf carts in one Florida community over the last six years.

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, Melissa Hartmann, 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.

Prior to the board's vote Tuesday evening, Hartmann again urged the board to approve the ordinance-with some modifications.

In addition, Hartmann had met recently with Burgner, Volpe and Sollinger in an effort to craft a workable ordinance.

But board members again voiced differing opinions on the issue Tuesday evening.

Parr said she believed allowing golf carts on public streets is "just a bad idea."

LeClercq indicated he shared the police department's concern the carts would pose a safety hazard if permitted on local streets.




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