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Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

November 15, 2018 Wellman City Council updates ordinances
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

A number of ordinance updates were passed on the first reading by the Wellman City Council on Monday, Nov. 5.

Most of the updated ordinances pertain to the operation of various types of small vehicles in the city.

Changes to the city’s golf cart ordinance (Chapter 78) include an age restriction that is different from what the Council originally approved.

At the Oct. 1 council meeting, there was a lengthy debate over the age requirement.

A poll of council members showed a 3-2 split over the issue, with three members in favor of allowing people with school permits to operate golf cars and two preferring to set a minimum age of 16 with a valid driver’s license.

At the Nov. 5 meeting, though, City Administrator Kelly Litwiller said that after some more research, it was discovered that state law requires golf cart operators on streets to be a minimum of 16 years old with a valid driver’s license.

The amended ATV ordinance (Chapter 75) sets operating times between dawn and dusk, with exceptions for “emergency situations, loading and unloading items from a transport trailer and snow removal.”

The ordinance pertaining to small vehicles (Chapter 77) clarifies that separate ordinances govern the operation of ATVs and golf carts. Small vehicles under this ordinance include scooters, lawn tractors and motorized wheelchairs.

Another change is the raising of the fine for violations. The first offense will now cost a violator $100, up from $50. Subsequent offenses are raised to $250, up from $100.

Another ordinance amendment pertains to parking regulations (Chapter 69).

Parking in any of the city’s park parking lots would now be banned from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless the city grants special permission.

The ordinance will also ban semi truck and/or trailer parking on city streets or right-of-way.

The final ordinance amendment was made necessary with the Legislature’s passage of a bill stating that a defendant facing jail time for any offense must be provided legal counsel.

As a way to save money providing legal defense, cities around the state have been amending ordinances changing simple misdemeanors to municipal infractions in order to remove the possibility of jail time for minor offenses.

The second reading of the ordinances will be during the Monday, Nov. 19 Council meeting.

Mayor Ryan Miller said that the Council has the option of waiving a third reading.

“I would like to do all three readings because I think this will be controversial,” Council member Bob Freeman said.

Miller said that decision would be made at the Nov. 19 meeting.

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