Belpre City Council Passes Golf Cart Ordinance | News, Sports, Jobs

BELPRE – The final reading of an ordinance that will allow golf carts to be operated on limited streets in Belpre was passed by Belpre City Council by a narrow margin on Monday.

The municipal council of Belpre held its ordinary meeting on Monday evening.

The golf cart ordinance passed final reading by a 4-3 vote, with council members Judith Drake, Bill Locke, Donna Miller and Earl Shutts voting in favor and council members Dave Ferguson, Tim Gant and Penne Riffle having opposed it. The ordinance will enter into force 30 days after its adoption.

Among the requirements outlined, the ordinance will require seat belts, a valid driver’s license and liability insurance on carts, and a valid license plate. Carts will need to be inspected annually by the Belpre Police Department or other designated facility based on state code. There will be a $40 annual inspection fee.

Mayor Mike Lorentz said he has lined up a designated facility to conduct inspections, but needs to finalize details before announcing where and when those inspections could be conducted.

Golf carts will not be permitted on sidewalks. They will be allowed on streets with a 25mph limit but not on streets with a 35mph limit. Wagons cannot be driven on national roads, although they can cross them.

There were also several specified streets described in the ordinance where carts cannot be used. These include: Washington Boulevard (the exception is the crossing at Stone Road); Main Street (the exception is the intersection at Fifth Street); Putnam Howe Drive; Farson Street, Lee Street and US 50 within Belpre city limits.

In other business, council approved second and third readings of a resolution adopting the fiscal budget for the year 2022 to meet the June 30 deadline. The Board approved the second reading of a resolution for the final supplementary appropriations for 2021. The final reading will take place at a future Board meeting.

The council also heard from Locke about a measure he knows to be unpopular but deems necessary. Locke said Belpre’s 1% income tax has remained unchanged since it was passed in the 1970s. He thinks the city’s rising costs over the years could mean that income tax of the city may need to be updated.

Several other council members and members of the public expressed measured support for the idea, but no one expressed opposition to such a change. City law director Tom Webster said council approved the original income tax in 1972, but any changes then would require lengthy discussions and would have to be approved by city voters by through a ballot.

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