New Bremen Council discusses low power vehicle regulations

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW BREMEN — New Bremen Village Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would regulate the operation of golf carts and other low power vehicles on village streets during its regular meeting on Feb. 11.

Police Chief Mike Skinner said that, if approved, this ordinance would provide specific guidelines on who could operate the vehicle and what type of safety equipment a vehicle would need to be street legal.

The types of low power vehicles being considered are defined as golf carts, utility vehicles, and mowers. None may have a speed of more than 25 miles per hour and weigh under 3,000 pounds.

Operators of golf carts would be required to have a valid driver’s license and be at least 16 years of age. Each driver would be required to have liability insurance.

Similar to standard street vehicles, the carts would be required to have a wind shield, license plates on the front and back, working safety lights, horn, a rear-view mirror, and turn signals. Passengers and driver would be required to wear seat belts. Children ages four to eight and under 4’9” would need a booster seat, while children under 40 pounds would need to be in a child safety seat.

Utility vehicles, which are typically used in construction and ground maintenance work, would have safety equipment similar to a golf cart and be required to have a slow-moving vehicle placard.

Mowers would also need a slow-moving placard, as well as brakes and emergency brakes, and a working exhaust system.

Low power vehicles would be prohibited from using the public bicycle paths and roads with speed limits over 25 miles per hour. The vehicles would not be allowed to travel down state routes but can cross the state route.

In other action, council had a first reading of an ordinance that would ask for renewal of a five-year, $2 million Fire and EMS levy, which is set to expire at the end of the 2019 tax year. The matter would appear on the November 2019 ballot.

Council also agreed to set the Eastmoor Drive Project sidewalk replacement costs at a compromised price of $6 per square foot. Debate before the vote centered around the fact that, while homeowners were given an estimate that the cost would be $5 per square foot, the subcontractor ended up charging $7.50.

A second reading was approved for the conditional use of a building, at 112 N. Main St., which would allow a mixed use of offices and apartments.

Tabled was an ordinance to increase the pay of the village fire chief to $6,000, and the assistant fire chief to $2,000.

Mayor Jeff Pape and Village Administrator Chris Dicke also said studies were ongoing for a third electrical substation in the village. They said construction of a substation would have to be completed by the time the new Crown Equipment 500,000-square foot plant expansion was completed.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.