Golf Carts To Get Green Light To Cruise Crothersville Streets

The Crothersville Town Council approved first reading of an ordinance to allow the use of golf carts on town streets when they met last Tuesday.
The ordinance defines a golf cart as “a vehicle with four wheels originally designed for operation on a golf course and powered by a battery or internal combustion motor. ”
The ordinance states golf carts can only be driven in the town of Crothersville. The driver must also be a licensed driver and follow the rules of the road. Drivers must also be financially responsible.
The ordinance defines financial responsibility as liability insurance coverage on a golf cart in an amount not less than required by Indiana law for motor vehicles operated on public highways in the State of Indiana.
The time of operation of the golf carts is also outlined in the ordinance. Hours of operation are a half-hour after sunrise and a half-hour before sunset.
The number of occupants is based on factory seating for the golf carts. Each seat must also have a working seat belt.
Slow moving vehicle signs are also required on the golf carts.
The vehicle must be registered with the Crothersville Police Department. One-year registration was set at $20 per year according to the ordinance. The registration fee is to be paid at the time of inspection.
The ordinance states the penalty for violating the ordinance cannot exceed $200.
Before voting, council did discuss changing the hours to include hours of darkness if the golf carts were equipped with turn signals and lights.
Describing his approach as “baby steps,” council President Ardell Mitchell said his opinion of the ordinance is to start with daytime hours and to keep the golf carts close to factory standards. If there are no problems cuased by operators, he would consider changing the driving hours to 24 hours a day and require night kits on the golf carts.
“If there are 20 golf carts in this town, I would be shocked, “ Mitchell said.
The second reading of the ordinance will be at council’s November meeting. If approved, the ordinance would need to be published twice and could become local law by the first part of December.
In other business, the town opened bids for cleaning the town wells.
Ortman Drilling & Water Services of Kokomo bid $15,500; Reynolds, Inc. of Louisville bid $12,867; National Water Services of Paoli proposed $9,900; and Bastin-Logan Water Services of Franklin bid $7,990.
The council took the bids under advisement and indicated a contract would be awarded at a special Oct., 20 meeting.
Umbaugh & Associates were awarded the contract to conduct a sewer rate study to determine what amount of rate increase for the next several years is necessary for local sewer users.
Umbaugh bid $5,000 for the work. two other bids were also received, one from Sherman-Millican for $8,000 and one from OW Crone & Associates with a range of $3,500-$4,500.
Mitchell said the grit system and both pumps at the sewer plant will need to be upgraded in order for the town to begin to meet IDEM Combined Sewer Overflow requirements. Mitchell reported that Indiana Department of Highways has finally begun design work to remove surface water drainage from along US 31 which flows into the town’s sanitary sewer system and is a major contributor to the town’s overflow problems.
The USDA provides loans with an interest rate of 2.5% and up to 75% of the project could be eligible for a grant, it was learned.
In a related matter, Trena Carter of ARa Associates of Columbus told the council that a new income survey of town residents could help the town become eligible for Community Development Block Grants which could be used to help pay for any sewer plant improvement. The last survey was conducted several years ago and needs to be updated. Three proposals for contacting residents concerning their income were discussed: Key Research bid $1,750 to conduct an income survey, Harsby Consulting bid $2,000 and Ball State proposed to do the work for $2,300.
In other matters the council:
•Agreed to hold an executive session to interview candidates for sewer superintendent at an executive session set for Oct. 13.
•Learned that park board member Alisa Sweazy’s term on that board will expire on Jan. 4 and she has opted not to seek re-appointment. The council is looking for a park board representative. Any resident of Crothersville who has interest in the post is encouraged to call town hall to express their interest.
•The council set Friday, Oct. 30 from 6-8 p.m. at the official trick or treat night.