ATVs, UTVs, golf carts, lawn mowers on council agenda

 An ordinance that was tabled at the last meeting was the main topic of discussion during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

Ordinance 2019-8 would amend the city code in regard to when and where All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs).

At the council's last meeting City Attorney Amy Miller was asked to make changes in the current code to make it match state statues and add language suggested by council members.

Discussion at the meeting included the need for safety belts, helmets and roll cages, the penalties for violating the law and the use of these vehicles for such things as snow removal.

Council member Matt Eischeid told the council "we have been deliberating this a long time and there are only two of these registered. Are we ever going to get it right.. probably not. It would be so much easier if we just repealed the ordinance."

Council members did make several changes to the ordinance, including the need for  safety belts, helmets and roll cages and the requirement that operators be 17 years of age to match the state's motorcycle laws.

The ordinance will come back to council for third reading at a future meeting.

Council members again debated the idea of allowing golf carts and lawn mowers on city streets.

City Administrator Wes Blecke presented information from several other cities in Nebraska in regard to the use of golf carts on city streets. These included the fact that golf cars can be driven on city streets in the most direct route to a golf course and are only allowed to cross highways at a 90 degree angle.

Council member Terri Buck said the ordinance should address what the golf cart is being used for, such as getting to the golf course or being in a parade. She asked why such an ordinance is necessary.

Council member Jennifer Sievers said that at the present time, "you can do anything, there is no restriction. The intent of the ordinance would be to give Marlen (Chinn, police chief) the authority to enforce the law."

Discussion included information on what the state statues require and the fact that Wayne is a larger city, with more traffic, than some of the others that allow golf carts on streets.

A presentation was given by Silas Mark in regard to his proposed Eagle Scout project.

Silas would like to move a fire pit from the former Girl Scout cabin area to Bressler Park. He explained to council members the dimensions of the fire pit and the work that would be required. He also noted he would be working with city employees to have a tree removed and bricks and concrete poured. 

Parks and Recreation Director Lowell Heggemeyer told the council what the city's role in the project would be.

Following the presentation, approval was given to move forward on the project.

A budget workshop will be held Tuesday, July 30 at 5 p.m. in council chambers. Council members will receive preliminary numbers for the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, with the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

During Tuesday's meeting Drew Marshall was introduced as the Wayne Police Department's newest officer.

Wayne Police Chief Marlen Chinn introduced Marshall and said he was employed with the Burt County Sheriff's Department since 2011. He and his family have recently moved to Wayne. 

Council members set the dates of Tuesday, July 30 and Tuesday, Aug. 6 as the dates to work on the budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020. The July 30 meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and focus on General Fund budget items, while the Aug. 5 meeting will deal with the remainder of the city's budget and be part of the regular meeting.

The issue of fireworks being discharged in the city was briefly discussed. It was noted that council members have in the past talked about changes to the regulations, but not in a timely manner to make changes. 

Police Chief Chinn said this year was "fairly quiet, we had probably eight to 10 calls in regard to fireworks."

The possibility of allowing the mayor the authority is allow fireworks to be discharged on July 5 due to inclement weather on July 4 was discussed and will be re-visited in the future.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.

The Wayne Herald

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