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Wells puts golf carts back on course

By Staff | Aug 18, 2013

The Wells City Council may want the use of golf carts in town to be refocused back to its original purpose golfing.

A number of incidents have been noticed by council members and the mayor of golf carts being utilized by younger drivers.

“The golf carts are being driven by kids without licenses,”?Mayor Ron Gaines says.

City ordinance allows golf carts on city streets but the purpose was unclear.

“I can see using the carts on streets to get back and forth to the course,”?says Jim Ratelle, Chief of Police.

However, with the broad ordinance that’s in place, it is hard to enforce the usage.

“I see people using them to run errands and things around town and there’s no way for me to enforce that,”?Ratelle adds.

Council member Ashley Seedorf recalls the ordinance was meant to allow people to use the carts to run errands, as well.

“But, the people operating them were supposed to be over the age of 12 or 13 and have the proper permit,”?Seedorf explains.

The council agreed that maybe it would be time to review that ordinance.

“It is very general at this point,”?Deputy City Clerk Deb Redman adds.

City Administrator Robin Leslie agrees that it should be added to her list of priorities for the city.

However, golf carts weren’t the only form of transportation in discussion at the meeting.

The Wells Municipal Airport was also on the table.

City Engineer Travis Winter attended the Wells City Council meeting on Monday to present a grant agreement for the airport’s improvements.

Mark Schmitz of the Wells Airport informed the council in April that the airport had been selected for a grant to repair the bituminous taxiways. The grant is 80/20 and would only be good for this year.

After they received bids on the project, they found the cost was a little higher than the $66,000 they had originally estimated.

The bid was eventually awarded to Ulland Brothers.

“Minnesota Department of Transportation will cover 80 percent and the work is to not exceed $76,725,” Winter says.

The grant agreement states that the state costs will be $61,380 and the local share will be $15,345.

The airport was hoping that a majority of the work would be completed during August and September as to not disturb the summer traffic.

The council accepted the grant agreement, allowing the work to begin.

They also reviewed the two-year maintenance agreement for the airport. This agreement says that the state will reimburse for 2/3 of eligible maintenance and operation costs, up to $4,519.

The council approved the agreement which will be effective for the state’s fiscal years of 2014 and 2015.

“I also would like to know who is responsible for maintaining the Air Force plane,” Leslie says.

Council member John Herman said they had someone come down from the cities to do a special chemical wash a number of years ago.

“A good power wash would be a start,”?Leslie adds. “Then we can see what they want to do from there.”