WELLSBURG — Wellsburg Council on Tuesday was split again on whether to allow golf carts to be driven on certain streets and Mayor Dan Dudley again broke the tie.
But this time, Dudley voted against the measure, saying he had reviewed it and sought legal advice on it as well as public comment.
He said of the latter that he had heard “more no than yes” with some expression concerts, the carts would be used by young people to damage property.
Dudley also said he thinks the city police have enough to deal with.
The idea was suggested by 2nd District Councilor Paul Billiard, who said they were popular in residential areas of other communities and could attract new residents to the city.
A second reading of an ordinance allowing them, under certain conditions, was supported by 2nd Ward Councilman Mary Margaret Ross, 4th Ward Councilman Della Serevicz and 1st Ward Councilman Jack Kins.
4th Ward Councilman Charlie Harris, 3rd Ward Councilors Randy Fletcher and Tom Gaudio and 1st Ward Councilman Jerry Nichols voted against.
The same split vote occurred during the first reading of the ordinance on November 9. At that point, Dudley broke the tie, saying he felt it was worth considering further.
On Tuesday, Billiard expressed anger at the lack of support, calling out those who voted against “cowards.”
Dudley said he wouldn’t let himself be called others and himself.
Billiard said some council members lacked the vision to bring change to the city.
“For me, that’s why we stagnate in the city”, he said before leaving the meeting.
If the ordinance had been approved, the carts could not be driven on streets with a speed limit higher than 25, although they could be used to cross National Highway 2.
Their owners would have been required to register them annually with the city, while showing proof of liability insurance, and would be issued a license and sticker for their carts.
City attorney Ryan Weld said for the second reading that he added wording identifying the chief of police or a designated person responsible for inspecting vehicles.
In other business, the council accepted a $71,691 bid from Grae-Con Construction to replace the steps leading to City Hall.
Plans call for a set of steps with railings to extend directly from the entrance to the town square below and a V-shaped disabled accessible ramp to be added on the east side of the gates.
Last year, the council approved the installation of a handicapped accessible electronic folding door.
Fletcher lobbied for the offer to be accepted, saying the deterioration under the concrete steps would eventually cause them to collapse and someone would be injured.
He noted that council had approved the design for the new steps in May 2020 and agreed to solicit bids for them in August of that year, but the city had not received bids.
When this happened, City Manager Steve Maguschak sought a contractor for the project more directly.
Also on Tuesday, Maguschak announced that an ad for a grant writer for the city had attracted two applicants. He asked council to review the process by which it will select the person who will serve the city as an independent contractor.
Alex Weld, a member of the city’s urban redevelopment authority, had suggested the move as a way to seek federal funds for infrastructure improvements.
Plans have also been made for monthly council committee meetings to be held on January 4 starting at 6 p.m. The meeting was moved from December 21 due to the holidays.