Tuesday evening the Culver Town Council conducted a public hearing on the ordinance regulating the use of golf carts within the town limits.  The proposal being considered was the raise the golf cart registration fees to $100. 

During the town meeting Council President Bill Cleavenger said the proposal is to amend the ordinance by increasing the annual registration fee from $60 to $100 per unit. 

He then opened the floor for comments.

Ginger Rodgers from South Main Street said she recently purchased a golf cart and was the 623rd one to register this year.  She wanted to know where the money from the registration goes and Councilman Bill Hamm said he believed part of it was going to help pay for police enforcement. He said the number of golf carts in Culver increasing, making the police department busier because they are becoming a major traffic problem and safety issue.  She asked if the council thought increasing the registration fee would eliminate the golf carts and he said, “No we need to hire more police.”

Town Manager Kevin Danti said some of the funds will be used for additional signage and possibly cameras in a few problem locations.

Leslie Sheppard told the Town Council those who are following the rules are being punished by the increase in the fee.  It was suggested the town should increase the violation tickets which would impact the violators who aren’t following the town rules on the use of golf carts. 

Rodney Ringer from Ringers Golf Carts 921 Lakeshore Drive said the increased fee will be a burden for their small business.  He also said the town doesn’t provide parking for golf carts and didn’t make any accommodations for golf carts to be able to access the businesses on State Road 10.  The new large sidewalk installed can’t have motorized vehicles on it.

After hearing from nearly a dozen patrons during the public hearing, Councilwoman Sally Ricciardi said she was not in favor of raising the fee to $100.  Councilman Rich West contemplated revising the ordinance but said he could suggest changes during the second reading after more information was provided.   

The first reading of the ordinance to increase the golf cart registration fee passed 4 to 1 with Ricciardi voting in opposition. 

The Culver Town Council’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 14 at 6:30 in the evening and council members will have additional information to share.