Rusk City Council approved a golf cart ordinance at the Nov. 11 meeting.
The new regulations would allow motorized and/or electric golf carts limited to a maximum speed of 25 mph or less on roads and city streets that have a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less. These vehicles would not be permitted on national highways, farm-to-market roads, or planned communities with a set of covenants in place, although they would be permitted to cross these roads if they intersect a road on which these vehicles are allowed to circulate.
The ordinance outlines the equipment required, who can drive these vehicles, and related restrictions.
Councilman Martin Holsome, District 3, reported that in other cities and communities, many people use golf carts to get around their neighborhoods and he believed an ordinance allowing such movement would benefit Rusk.
The proposed order was approved with the addition of a $10 registration fee.
City Manager Amanda Hill said the city has sent out a request for quotes for architectural services for buildings in the city to become the new city hall and police department.
The review committee consisted of code enforcement officer Rusk, a builder and a realtor. The scoring of the three entries resulted in a one-point difference between first and second, and second and third place.
The top scorer was Lufkin’s McKinley Golden Associates.
“They had slightly more municipal experience than the other two,” Hill said.
Harris Craig Architects and SC Architecture, both of Tyler, were the other two respondents.
“We want the town hall to be pleasant. We don’t want it to be extravagant, but we want it to be classy, nice, something we can be proud of,” Mayor Ben Middlebrooks said during the discussion.
No decision has been made regarding the current City Hall and Police Department buildings once they are relocated to the new sites. Hill said a suggestion to raze the building and create additional parking for downtown businesses met with some resistance.
The board has authorized the formation of a charter committee. Each council member will appoint an individual from their respective districts and the mayor will appoint someone at-large to serve on the committee. Nominations and a vote on committee members take place at the next meeting.
“It has to go on a ballot. The charter committee will meet, study it very closely, make suggestions, recommendations, and then it will finally be voted on by voters,” Hill said.
Councilor Frances Long, District 5, pointed out that the last review was three years ago and that the committee spent a lot of time diligently reviewing the city charter. The detailed review was necessary because three years ago the charter had not been reviewed for some time. The committee is not expected to perform such careful analysis during this review process.
Nominations will be received and voted on at the December meeting.
The levy of the tax roll was approved by the council as well as two budgetary modifications.
The board elected to defer the city’s vote for the Cherokee County Assessment District Board until the December meeting.
A proposed amendment to the Cemetery Ordinance has also been tabled until the next meeting. As for Cedar Hill Cemetery, Middlebrooks said the road leading to the cemetery from the rear has been recut, with a new culvert put in place. He reminded those present that this road was once the designated entrance for black people to enter the cemetery and was a historic landmark to be preserved.
“What we would like to do, I think, is use some contribution money to put a plaque on it and some brick pillars that say what it is,” Middlebrooks said.
The Consent Agenda was approved with one correction to the minutes. Martin Holsome’s name was removed from the list of those present at the October 21 special council meeting because he did not attend.