Golf cart discussion begins in FD

It may be awhile before golf cart owners can hit the streets of Fort Dodge.

The City Council began discussing the possibility of allowing that during a Monday night workshop discussion. By the time they wrapped up for the night, the elected officials had decided only to continue the conversation.

The use of golf carts on streets was proposed by resident Jim Koll, who presented city leaders with a draft version of a law allowing that.

City Manager David Fierke said the city’s Envision 2030 strategic plan mentions golf cart travel as a way to make the community attractive to active retirees.

State law allows the use of golf carts on local streets if the City Council authorizes it.

The state law also includes a category of low-speed vehicles, which are essentially golf carts with headlights, turn signals and other safety features. Those machines can be operated on city streets even without council authorization.

Council members said Monday that they haven’t seen an outpouring of demand for golf carts on streets.

Councilman Kim Alstott said based on his interactions with the community, most don’t want golf carts.

“I haven’t found one person who wants all of this,” he said.

Webster City officials considered permitting golf carts on streets in 2007, but rejected the idea. In an email Ed Sadler, the city manager, wrote that the idea was discarded for ”lots of issues, not the least of which was intermingling them with trucks as they were on or crossing truck routes.”

Councilman Mark Taylor said he envisions people using golf carts to travel close to home. He said he believes most people would only go two to three blocks in a golf cart.

”I don’t think it was ever intended to be a crosstown mobility operation,” he said.

Councilman Don Wilson said using a golf cart would be safer than a bicycle for many older people.