After nearly one year of discussion, the Cloverdale Town Council made a decision regarding the use of golf carts on its city streets.
At Tuesday's council meeting, the board voted 4-1 to not allow the use of golf carts streets, stating such an ordinance would violate state code.
The issue had been the subject of debate among council members, various officials and local residents since July 2005.
On Tuesday, board member John Davis motioned to deny the use of golf carts on city streets with Judy Whitaker giving the second. The board voted 4-1 on the issue, with board vice president Dennis Padgett voting no.
The board was prepared to table the issue for another month. Council President Don Sublett told residents at Tuesday's meeting that the board was waiting on Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter to give a decision on an ordinance that was recently created in another city.
But Cloverdale Police Chief Charlie Hallam pleaded with the board to make a decision regarding the issue, setting the table for the vote.
On Tuesday, Hallam told the board he had researched the issue recently and learned two towns had ordinances that allowed the use of golf carts, including Lebanon.
However, Hallam said Lebanon's ordinance was created because of a summer festival the city had.
"All along, at least I thought we were trying to preach safety," Hallam told the BannerGraphic.
Recently, Padgett had visited Lebanon to find out more information regarding its ordinance. He informed council members that Lebanon's ordinance called for those using golf carts on city roads to be registered drivers and that registration stickers had to be placed on the back of the carts. He said the Lebanon ordinance called for road and hour restrictions on the carts, however.
But the council requested more time to mull the issue and have town attorney Scott Hoff look further into the possibility of creating an ordinance.
On Tuesday, Hoff informed the council that creating an ordinance for the use of golf carts would go against state law.
Hoff told the BannerGraphic the use of golf carts in Lebanon prompted state police to begin issuing tickets to drivers.
"Look what's happened in Lebanon," Hoff said. "I was asked to look into (the issue) a couple of months ago and made the determination that you can't write an ordinance."
On Tuesday, Whitaker provided the council with information from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns that was similar.
The information Whitaker provided stated that on July 29, 2004, a state statute was established against the use of "low speed vehicles" on public roadways.
Hoff said in order for golf carts to be allowed on public roadways, they would have to undergo rigorous inspection and all the additions needed for the carts would come at a high cost.
When the issue came up 11 months ago, Cloverdale residents Delight and John Coy requested the use of golf carts because of disabilities. They had asked for permission to use golf carts within the Stardust Hills addition.
On Tuesday, they asked the council what would be done regarding the use of lawn mowers and go-karts on public roadways.
Hallam said there will be an attempt to monitor the usage of those types of vehicles on city streets, but reminded the council and public Tuesday that manpower will be an issue.
"I suspect we will have things here and there, but not as much," Hallam said.
Meanwhile, the board unanimously approved to accept a final change order on quantities for the U.S. 231/SR 42 project in the amount of $3,590.10. Project representative Tony Ackles also presented the board the final claim voucher for the project at a cost of $36,701.89, which also included the final change order amount. The board also approved that claim voucher with a unanimous vote.
However, the council learned from Ackles that one fire hydrant on the southern end of the project was leaking and would be replaced.
In other news, the board:
-- Approved transfer resolution 2006-6 for $300 by a 5-0 vote.
-- Approved emergency claims from May 23 for $203,167.34 by a 5-0 vote.
-- Unanimously approved May 26 claims for $2,395.45.
-- Approved by a 5-0 vote claims from June 13 at $151,370.05.
-- Unanimously approved a motion to approve $49,701 for dump trucks after reading quotes that Utility Manager Mike Gray had received.
-- Approved by a 5-0 vote to hire Wabash Valley Asphalt to commence with street paving.
-- Learned from Gray that there were recent problems with the town's sewage plant. Gray told the board lightning may have hit a motor at the plant, causing the problems.
-- Unanimously approved Gray to hire Spiker Excavating to install two fire hydrants, estimated at $850 each in the town.
-- Approved Cloverdale Police Chief Charlie Hallam to seek bids to change the lighting fixtures in the police department.
-- Approved a measure by a 5-0 vote for town clerk/treasurer Patti Truax to dispose of electronic equipment, such as computer towers, discs, keyboards, monitors, through RetroFit provided the company give the town certificates that the equipment memory was purged.
-- Learned from Redevelopment Commission President Don Gedert that construction of the ethanol plant is progressing.
-- Learned from Gedert that the proposed horse arena in Cloverdale was possibly two weeks away from construction.
-- Voted by a 5-0 count to appoint John Berry to the Park Board.
-- Tabled discussion on drug testing through Indiana Testing until the council's July meeting.
The council meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month at the town hall. However, the council scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. today.
Its next regularly scheduled meeting is set for 7 p.m. July 11.