Golf cart issues roll back to county board
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:30 AM
On Feb. 5, Wayne Fitting of Money Creek Haven Campground asked the county board to consider rescinding its Dec. 11 vote, prohibiting golf carts on CSAH 26 near Money Creek for safety reasons.
"On the safety issue, we do have a rental agreement with our permanent campers," Fitting said. "Anybody coming in notices that they have to be a licensed driver. Kids cannot operate golf carts. It's basically the same as an automobile."
"We don't have kids running golf carts across Highway 76 at Money Creek," he explained.
County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski spoke about his recommendation, which the board cited when they chose not to allow golf carts to drive along the route, stating:
"My safety concern isn't necessarily by the campground or even in Money Creek. It's where you're getting out of the 30 mph speed limit zone. On that road there is very little shoulder present and not a lot of room to move that golf cart out of the way.
"My concerns are... What areas would golf carts be allowed to use on 26? It's really limited. For the county to approve an ordinance, issue permits for no longer than three years (by statute) and monitor that, and then require that they have insurance and are licensed drivers. Really, what is the benefit and what are the risks? There isn't a whole lot of benefit, and it does produce risks."
Fitting replied that the interests of Money Creek Haven and Money Creek Township weren't well represented when the board voted in December.
"Why was there a vote without that happening?" he asked commissioners.
Fitting said that he had spent a considerable amount of time consulting with the township board on the issue and seeking a township ordinance in support of golf cart use on the roadway. "I'd just hate to see all that work go to waste," he stated.
"I just feel that if people want to get on a golf cart and drive a half-mile to go to church on Sunday morning, it's all right. They're adults. There's never been an issue with accidents or tickets."
By consensus, the board agreed that if Fitting wanted to meet with law enforcement, the county Highway Department and other interested parties on the matter, they would consider revising their order.
He was asked to bring a detailed proposal, which would probably include an aerial map with notes on permits, licensing and rules. For the time being, however, the December vote stands.
Per diems may be re-examined
Commissioner Judy Storlie noted that per-diems for county commissioners may have been restricted too far.
On Jan. 8, the board removed language from their policy statement, striking the sentence, "Per diems will also be paid for meetings and events, which pertain to and are directly related to county business."
Those ineligible meetings can add up to a lot of time, Storlie said, sometimes taking an entire day to drive to and attend.
Commissioner Teresa Walter agreed, adding that as long as per-diem meetings aren't left to the sole discretion of members to attend and receive payment for, the language was OK as it stood.
Chairman Justin Zmyewski suggested that commissioners take some time to study the issue on their own and bring the topic back to the full board in two weeks.
That's when the board is set to be looking into goals and strategic planning. No vote was taken to further amend the policy.
MN/Iowa border to be surveyed
County Surveyor Richard Walter reported that a cooperative project is underway with Allamakee County, Iowa, to reset missing survey markers along the state line between Minnesota and Iowa.
Houston County will need to set 20 section and quarter-section corners while Allamakee County will be restoring about the same number.
"We believe this will be not only (be) a historical project but also a great benefit to adjacent landowners of both counties," he told commissioners.
By pooling resources, both counties will save time and money, Walter added.
The new sites will be based on the NAD 83 (North American Data) system, which is accurate down to "less than an inch," Walter said.
Final payment on CSAH 249
Commissioners approved final payment for a CSAH 249 roadway project.
Pogodzinski said that the work ran over budget due to poor soils and the need for additional gravel, which swelled the total from $207,160 to $219,948.