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Hillsboro considers allowing golf carts, worksite vehicles

Ag Power plans to buy 1.5 acres in business park

Staff writer

Hillsboro City Council members expressed interest in allowing worksite vehicles and golf carts in certain areas of the city, after a request from Tabor College.

The college asked City Administrator Larry Paine about the possibility of driving worksite utility vehicles — better known as “gators” — from one part of campus to another, which would require crossing D Street.

State law prohibits worksite vehicles and golf carts on public streets but allows cities to permit them, Paine said.

The city can allow the vehicles in the entire city or limit them to certain areas. The city can also allow either golf carts or worksite vehicles or both or neither.

A standard ordinance from Kansas League of Municipalities requires drivers to have a valid driver’s license and requires that a vehicle be tagged and insured. Drivers could only use the vehicles after sunset if they were equipped with headlights.

It would be just like creating a separate class of vehicle, City Attorney Dan Baldwin said.

At the Aug. 4 council meeting, Police Chief Dan Kinning said he was opposed to allowing such vehicles on city streets because they would cause a traffic hazard.

Mayor Delores Dalke favored allowing worksite vehicles and golf carts throughout town.

“I don’t see any reason not to,” she said.

Councilman Kevin Suderman said he was not sure golf carts would pose any more traffic danger than bicycles.

Councilman Byron McCarty said he favored allowing such vehicles for business use.

The council will consider the issue further at its next meeting, 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Ag Power buys lots in business park

Ag Power, Inc., of Hillsboro will purchase 1.5 acres of land in Hillsboro Heights business park along U.S. 56, Paine said.

The company offered $15,800 for the land, matching the city’s asking price. The company requested to close on the purchase Dec. 15.

Ag Power will only buy the land if three conditions are met:

  • An inspector determines the land is suitable for the company’s purpose.
  • The company receives necessary zoning and building permits.
  • The company is able to secure a contractor for construction.

Paine was confident the conditions would be met.

In other business:

  • The council canceled a planned closed session to discuss personnel because Dalke did not have all of the council members’ annual evaluations of Paine. The closed session was rescheduled for the next meeting.
  • Dalke reappointed Edith Darting to the airport board, Tim Unruh to the museum advisory board, and Kyle Cedarberg to the board of zoning appeals. She also appointed Sue Wadkins to the museum advisory board. The council approved all appointments.
  • Paine received 11 proposals for inspecting work on Ash Street.

Last modified Aug. 27, 2009

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