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Golf carts up for discussion by council

The Newton City Council will vote on a proposal to allow golf carts on city streets at 6 p.m. Monday night.

Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich will be asked to present his research to the council.

According to Iowa code 321.247, drivers of street-legal golf carts must possess a valid driver’s license in low speed areas no greater than 25 mph, but carts will not be allowed to cross a city street, which is a primary road extensive. In addition, golf carts must be equipped with a slow moving vehicle sign, a bicycle safety flag and can only be driven between sunrise and sunset and be equipped with adequate brakes.

Hoebelheinrich’s report also includes similar various restrictions from other cities including the city of Lenox, which requires any resident who wishes for their golf cart to be deemed street-legal, to be inspected.

Grant Application

The council will also consider a $63,000 grant match to extend a 1.1-mile hike and bike trail along North 11th Avenue East, to Woodland Park. The total cost for the project is estimated to cost $317,339, with a majority of the project being covered by a federal grant. If approved, and once built, the city’s Park and Recreation Department will be required to maintain it for public use, at a minimum of 20 years.

Directof of Finance and Development Bryan Friedman also said in his report that should the council be selected for CIRTPA funding, the city would begin to meet with the five resident property owners and impacted business property owners in regards to specific grading, obstacles routing issues submitting in its preliminary plans.

City staff recommended the council pass the application, and if approved, the project is not likey to start before summer 2014.

Task of Animal Control Task Force

In a previous meeting, the council updated the city’s vicious animal ordinance. In addition to the updates, the council was asked by a concerned citizen to form an animal task force. The council agreed on the possibility of forming a task force, and the council recently published a notice in the Daily News asking community members who are interested to contact city hall.

The council will now define the role of the task force.

Audio/Video and

Layout updates

During an earlier council budget meeting, City Administrator Robert Knabel’s report considered the possibility of updating the council chambers audio/video equipment. The council agreed that the chambers did not need the recommended amount, but with its contract set to expire soon, the council may decide to switch its broadcast format to a webcast.    

Other items on the agenda:

• Setting a public hearing date of May 6 for 2012-13 budget amendments.

• Approval of quotes for prohibited sanitary sewer discharge removal work

• Arbor Day

• Administrative Professionals Day and week.

Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at

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