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Council approves off-road vehicle, golf cart use on city streets

City to issue permits starting in December

Off-road utility vehicles and golf carts will be able to travel some of the streets of Webster City beginning in January, after the Webster City City Council approved the third and final reading of a proposed ordinance Monday night.

The council passed and adopted the ordinance during its regular meeting held at city hall. Several of the council members met on site at city hall, with others dialing in to the Zoom platform to participate.

off-road vehicles with head and tail lights, brakes and other safety equipment will be allowed to travel Webster City streets, with the exception of Superior Street and Second Street from Superior to Prospect Street. The vehicles would be able to cross each of the streets at a 90-degree angle and must come to complete stops and yield to all oncoming traffic and pedestrians, according to the proposed ordinance. The vehicles would not be allowed to operate on any of the public trails, except where designated.

Those operating the utility vehicles will be required to be 18-years of age, have a valid driver’s license and proof of liability insurance. The operator would also need to execute a valid application form for the city and obtain a permit.

Golf carts can be operated with the same requirements, though there are additional street restrictions for carts. Second Street from the eastern corporate limits to Overpass Drive, James Street from the western corporate limits to Overpass Drive, Overpass Drive itself, Superior Street from the southern corporate limits to Second Street, and White Fox from the northern city limits to Second Street would all be off limits to golf carts.

Golf carts would also be required to have operational brakes, a slow-moving vehicle sign and a bicycle safety flag.

If operated before sunrise or after sunset, both golf carts and utility vehicles would be required to have working headlights, taillights and brake lights, according to the ordinance.

The council also approved a $25 annual permit fee and set fines for violations of the ordinance at $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $150 for the third offense. City Attorney Zach Chizek said that operators who receive two violations in 12 months, their permit would be suspended for one year. If there were three violations in 18 months, the operator would lose their permit for 24 months.

City Clerk Karyl Bonjour said permits should be available in December and would become valid in January 2021. She said the staff would work on creating a permit application that could be accessed on the city website when its ready.

Resident Zach Mussman, who initially brought the request to the council, said he was pleased with the new ordinance and thanked the council and staff for all of the work to establish the ordinance.

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