West Point OKs first reading to allow ATVs on streets


WEST POINT – The West Point City Council put an ordinance in gear Monday night that will allow ATVs, UTVs and golf carts on city streets.

At the council’s regular monthly meeting, the council approved 5-0, to allow the vehicles on city streets but only when operated by a licensed driver 16 years of age or older, or a permitted driver with a licensed adult on board.

The vehicles cannot be operated on city sidewalks or on rights of way except when crossing to a public street.

The vehicles must display a safety flag, appropriate mufflers and can only be operated from sunrise to sunset.

Any operators driving one of the vehicles must also possess a one-time city permit at a cost of $25 and any other legally required county and state permits. Permits will be issued when proof of age and insurance is provided to the city. Any violations of the code subject the owner and operator to a suspension of permitting and simple misdemeanor charges.

Resident Larry Buchholz said he supported the ordinance and has several of the vehicles, but asked the permit money go to the police fund.

“All this is run through the police department to enforce it. So I’d like to see any money left over from the (permits) go into the police fund because they are the ones that have to enforce it,” Buchholz said.

He also asked the mayor to call for a 48-hour second reading and bypass the third reading.

“That way we can get this all set and done,” he said.

Mayor Paul Walker said the ordinance will probably be taken up for a second reading at the next regular meeting because the permits probably wouldn’t be at city offices that quickly.

He said the additional time will give any other people a chance to comment on the ordinance or suggest any changes. But he said without any additional concerns the third reading could be waived.

Resident Ron Fedler said he agreed with the ordinance because it needs to be regulated.

“After reading it today, I would agree that there are no rules governing golf carts and I don’t see any problem with this ordinance when it comes to golf carts. I assume there will be exemptions for special events like the Sweet Corn Festival.”

The ordinance will require at least one more official reading at the council before it is approved.

In other action, the council

• approved the first reading of an ordinance resetting sewer rates in the city to pay for lagoon improvements. Minimum monthly charge3s will be $19.25/month for the first 2,000 gallons of water used. Additionally, each property owner will pay $9.98 per 1,000 gallons until 2025. The city also approved a resolution to issue bonds for a $1.8 million sewer lagoon upgrade with construction starting in the fall.

• approved the first reading of a RAGBRAI ordinance setting permit fees within the city for non-authorized RABRAI vendors. Non-profit vendors will be required to pay a $500 fee and for-profit vendors will be charged a $550 fee. Riders are expected in the city on July 27. The provisions of the ordinance will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.. on that day only.

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