City to discuss possible golf cart usage

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa City Council will hold a special work session Tuesday at the Bridge View Center, with one of the items on the agenda a discussion about incorporating golf carts into the city’s UTV/ATV ordinance.

At the regular council meeting May 25, resident Jerry Phillips inquired of the council the possibility of making golf carts legal on city streets, citing both Iowa Code that regulates their usage, as well an ordinance in the City of Williamsburg’s code.

According to Iowa Code, golf carts can operate on city streets only if approved by the council, but can’t be on a city street that is a primary road through a city; however, a cart can cross a primary road.

The Iowa League of Cities notes that most communities “mirror the basic requirements” of the Code, but others have more closely regulated golf cart usage, such as requiring a permit and paying a permit fee, but that the golf cart can be inspected and that the owner must prove liability insurance.

Ottumwa passed a new ATV/UTV ordinance last year, but did not include golf carts under the “UTV” section of the ordinance.

The council will also continue its discussion on amending the fire code and how it relates to sprinkler heads in mixed-use buildings.

No recommendations have been made, but business owners in the downtown district have lamented about the difficult of renting out buildings to tenants as well as new businesses opening up because of restrictiveness of the current code.

However, in a memo from director of community development Zach Simonson, there are three options that the council can discuss regarding the fire sprinklers.

The first in no change. The second option would require that an automatic sprinkler system be installed and provided throughout all buildings except for a select group of occupancies no more than two stories tall or having 16 or fewer dwelling units. The third option would be a more restrictive amendment, and is similar to the second option, but is restricted to three or fewer dwelling units, and where those units are separated by a fire barrier.

No recommendations have been made on the matter, but it could also be put to a vote after discussion.

The special work session begins at 5:30 p.m.

Wapello County Supervisors

The supervisors will meet in regular session, with the official canvass of last week’s primary election one of the first orders of business, as it will certify Carrie Teninty’s Republican primary win over Jeff Tharp for the supervisor race. Teninity will face Democratic incumbent Brian Morgan in November for that seat.

Also, the supervisors will discuss a resolution to embargo a portion of Madison Avenue south of the city limits for 90 days due to vehicles traveling at high school and the deterioration of the road. The resolution states that the road will be closed to vehicles that weight more than seven tons, but school buses and emergency vehicles will be exempt.

Special exemptions will also be made to grain haulers in an emergency situation, as well as mail and delivery trucks that serve the residents on the road.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor courtroom/board room of the courthouse.

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