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City nixes golf carts on streets
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An ordinance that would have allowed Great Bend residents to get permits to drive golf carts on some city streets failed to pass at Monday’s City Council meeting.

It was the second time the council had considered the ordinance.

On May 20, the council voted 4-1 in favor of this ordinance. It failed because at least five “yes” votes are needed to adopt an ordinance. Three city council members were absent at that meeting, so this month Mayor Cody Schmidt asked if it could be placed back on the agenda with more members present.

After discussion, councilman Cory Urban moved that the council deny adopting an ordinance permitting and regulating the use of golf carts, micro-utility trucks and work-site utility vehicles on certain streets within the city limits. (A yes vote was a vote to NOT adopt the ordinance.) His motion passed 6-1, with councilman Alan Moeder in the minority. Council member Kevyn Soupiset was not present Monday.

The proposal

City Attorney Allen Glendenning walked the council through the proposed ordinance. It is illegal to operate a golf cart on a state or federal highway or on a connecting link, so even if it were adopted they would not be allowed on K-96, 10th Street, Main Street, Broadway or McKinley. They could not be on any street with a posted speed limit greater than 30 mph. Drivers would need to be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license in their possession. The golf cart owner would need to get a registration license plate annually from the police department. The cart would need to be properly insured and equipped with turn signals.

The discussion

Police Chief Steve Haulmark answered questions from council members, including whether the ordinance would be enforceable and whether it would create a lot of extra work for the police.

“As long as people do it responsibly, I think it will be fine,” Haulmark said.

Urban said he thought this would increase the burden on law enforcement. “They’ve got enough on their plates,” he said.

Urban said multiple people contacted him about this ordinance and only one of them was for it. “I’ve had multiple against it.”