Golf Carts May Become Street Legal In Crothersville

Golf carts as an affordable and more environmentally “green” in-town mode of transportation may get the green light from the Crothersville Town Council.
Golf cart proponent Kelly Schmelzle kept the issue in front of the council for a second straight month when they met Sept. 1.
She presented ordinances from other communities for allowing the vehicles off the fairway and onto public streets.
“This would help some our elderly go to the grocery and run errands. And it will save on gasoline,” said Schmelzle.
At the August meeting, councilman Bill Nagle expressed his opposition to the plan based on police concerns about safe operation of golf carts. However, Nagle’s opposition has apparently changed as he indicated that perhaps golf carts on town streets is an idea that is growing in other communities.
Council president Ardell Mitchell said the ordinance would be aimed at golf carts only, not ATV’s or side-by-side seating utility vehicles such as John Deere Gators or Kawasaki Mules. “We are only talking about golf carts. And they would have to have those safety items added to make them safe on the street,” said Mitchell.
He directed town attorney Travis Thompson to have a proposed draft of an ordinance ready for the council’s special meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Councilwoman Karen Mains added, “Our police department should have a very heavy hand in developing the rules for operating golf carts in Crothersville as well as the enforcement of those rules.”
In a report of the town’s progress at meeting Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) issues that must be remedied to IDEM’s (Indiana Department of Environmental Management) satisfaction, the town is struggling to make repairs and respond, in part because the town’s certified sewer treatment operator, Mason Boicourt recently resigned to take a similar position in Seymour.
But IDEM still requires the town to meet deadlines until a new certified operator is hired.
Three proposals were read from firms wanting to be the town’s ‘operator of record’ until a certified operator is hired.
Aqua Utility Services of Jeffersonville proposed to provide full-service, be on site and submit the necessary reports for $4,770 per month.
FPBH of North Vernon, the town’s current engineering firm, proposed a somewhat scaled back service contract for $3,200 a month while Mid-West Environmental Services of Godfrey, Illinois proposed a bare bones service for $2,450 per month.
The council agreed to hire Midwest Environment for one month until a new certified operator can be brought on board.
In a related discussion on considering rate consultants for a possible sewer rate increase, Mitchell floated the idea of privatizing the town’s water utility.
“This is just a thought, I’m thinking out loud here and not suggesting,” he said, “but what if we sell the town’s water utility to fund our sewer upgrades that we are facing? We could retain our water rights but sell the utility.”
He reminded those present that at one time town government owned the local electrical utility service, phone service and trash collection. “Times changed and we sold or got out of those businesses. Now I’m wondering if it may be time to sell our water utility?”
“If we do that we have no say, no control of what rates are charged for water,” said councilwoman Mains.
No action was taken on the matter.
In other business, the council decided to:
•Forego the use of fencing contractors and erect a fence at the water treatment plant by using town workers.
•Close Jackson Street between Main and Howard Streets on Saturday, Sept. 20, for another all day First Baptist Church function. The block-long section of Jackson Street will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the outdoor event. An alternative rain date was set for Sept. 27.
•Install a ‘Children At Play’ street sign near Bard Street Park.
•Table discussion on Sewer Rate proposals as well as getting additional well-flow test results.
•Set large trash pick up for Oct. 13 for the southeast section of town (the area south of Howard Street and east of the railroad, Oct. 20 for the northeast section (north of Howard & east of the railroad, and Oct. 27 for the area of town west of the railroad.