ELIDA — Elida Village Council approved an emergency ordinance Tuesday that will implement stricter regulations on who can operate golf carts in the village and what will be required of those who do operate them.
Councilors had been hearing plenty from residents about the issue, both pro and con. They decided in the overall best interest of safety that it was the right move.
“There has been a lot of scuttlebutt about it,” said village Councilor Chris McNamara.
McNamara said some residents had said it was no different than operating a moped.
“There is one thing to consider,” McNamara said. “A moped can only fit one person.”
Golf cart legislation has been an active discussion in several communities throughout Ohio as they become more popular. That popularity has resulted in more accidents.
“We have been advised of several accidents in surrounding communities,” village Solicitor Austin Klaus said.
Claude Paxton questioned the need of passing the ordinance as an emergency so residents could come to the meetings to state their opinions.
“We certainly can do that,” Klaus said, “but we are looking at six weeks out. The end of summer will be here.”
Golf cart use tends to be higher during the summer months.
Included in the ordinance, drivers using them on the road will need to provide proof of financial responsibility. All golf carts will be required to be inspected by the chief of police to make sure they comply with all statutory laws governing other motor vehicles. Users must also provide a driver license along with their proof of insurance in order to get the certificate of compliance.
The golf carts will not be allowed on any roads with a posted speed limit in access of 25 miles per hour.
Hardy said the legislation was needed becuase golf cart use had picked up significantly in the community in the last year.
In other business, the council approved its portion of a $3.9 million large reconstruction project on state Route 309.
The village has a 1.13 mile stretch of road that will be be included in the larger project. Engineering is in the preliminary stages, but Mayor Kim Hardy said the city is likely looking at anywhere between $75,000 to $250,000 out-of-pocket costs to pay for the project.
Village Administrator Scott Fessler said the village does not have a tight figure yet on the cost of the project as engineering continues. The project, which will include curb, gutter, drainage and resurfacing work, will help alleviate some of the flooding problems in the village, Fessler said.