SIDNEY — A discussion to allow golf carts and low-speed vehicles on city streets was held during Monday evening’s hybrid-style Sidney City Council meeting.
Police Chief Will Balling led the discussion and sought direction from council after receiving requests for golf carts, utility vehicles and low-speed vehicles to be permitted on city streets. Currently the city of Sidney does not have an ordinance allowing these type of vehicles on the roadway.
“By ordinance or resolution, a local authority may authorize the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks on a public street or highway under its jurisdiction,” Balling said.
A local authority that authorizes the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks shall do all of the following:
(1) Limit the operation of those vehicles to streets and highways having an established speed limit not greater than 35 mph;
(2) Require the vehicle owner who wishes to operate an under-speed or utility vehicle or a mini-truck on the public streets or highways to submit the vehicle to an inspection conducted by a local law enforcement agency that complies with inspection requirements established by the department of public safety under a section of the ORC;
(3) Permit the operation on public streets or highways of only those vehicles that successfully pass the required vehicle inspection are registered in accordance with a chapter 4503 of the ORC, and are titled in accordance with chapter 4505. of the ORC;
(4) Notify the director of public safety, in a manner, the director determines, of the authorization for the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks.
A local authority may establish additional requirements for the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks on its streets and highways. Balling said if City Council wants to move forward to allow these vehicles on the road, city staff will need to create an ordinance and a policy for inspecting the vehicles. He attached a sample ordinance from the city of Marysville and the inspection form from the BMV for review.
Council members were in favor of the idea. Council Member Jenny VanMatre said after reviewing the Marysville ordinance, which prohibits a child who needs to be in a car seat from riding, noted it could be difficult to enforce in an area such as the Moose. She said there are a number of families in that area who own carts and could likely want to take their families to dinner. She also asked if the vehicles would need license plates. Balling confirmed they would need a license plate.
Council member Darryl Thurber also commented about not permitting children in the vehicles. Balling said council could make restrictions as they saw fit.
Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan was for allowing the vehicle on the road, but expressed safety concerns and questioned where they would be parked.
Mercury Court resident Bob Guillozet asked if insurance would be required. He was told insurance will be required.
Balling said he did not feel they would have many of these vehicles on the road, but felt it would be a good public service to allow them. He was directed by council for city staff to begin drafting a policy and legislation.
In other business, Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, introduced an ordinance to levy a special assessment for the the improvements of streets, avenues and public highways in the city of Sidney, by lighting the same with electricity. The 2020 and 2021 rates are $0.33 per lineal foot for standard light and $1.13 per lineal foot for “decorative” street lighting.
Council also adopted seven resolutions, and they are:
• To approve and accept the city of Sidney engineering standards that are annually updated.
• To authorize City Manager Mark Cundiff to enter into an information technology cooperation agreement with the board of county commissioners of Shelby County and the Sidney-Shelby County General Health District Board. The agreement will extend the current contract through May 31, 2021, and renew automatically for an additional one-year period, unless either party gives written notice of desire to terminate the agreement. The city’s rates increase roughly 4.3%, from $117.69 per server to $122.70 per server, and from $14.13 per personal computer (PC) to $14.73 per PC.
• To authorize the submittal of a proposal with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Office of Aviation for Taxiway Improvements at the Sidney City Airport for $297,350 and represents 95% of the total cost of this FAA approved project for federal fiscal year 2021. The project is the rehabilitation of taxiway A at a total estimated cost of $313,000. Sidney’s share of the project is an estimated $15,650, or 5% of the project cost.
• To authorize Cundiff to enter into an agreement with the board of Miami County commissioners for a back-up residential building inspector. Due to the situation surround COVID-19, the person intended to fill this position in Shelby County has been unable to take the test to take the inspector job, which was cancelled in March, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth said. The hope is that he will be able to take the test soon.
• To wave the $2,105.26 of past due fees for city-owed utility services at 406 N. Miami Ave., which is a property owned by the Shelby County Land Revitalization Corporation, also known as the Land Bank.
• To reappoint Dan Heitmeyer and Mark Schmitmeyer for a new three-year term to the Revolving Loan Committee, which will expire July 1, 2023.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.