Should golf carts be allowed on Pratt streets? City commissioners consider municipal league template

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Pratt city commissioners are considering an ordinance following Kansas Municipal League guidelines for regulation of golf carts driven on city streets.

Pratt city commissioners took no action, at their March 15 meeting, on an agenda item (Ordinance 2105) that would limit or legalize the driving of golf carts on city streets.

A memo Authorizing the Operation of Golf Carts on the Streets within the Corporate Limits of the City was presented by Pratt City Attorney Regina Goff, who said it was based on the Kansas Municipal League template.

“The requirement for a valid driver’s license--that came from the League,” Goff said.

Other stipulations of the proposed ordinance include hours of operation being from sunrise to sunset and that golf carts would not be allowed on roadways with speed limits greater than 30 miles per hour or on highways, other than for crossing. The ordinance would require insurance coverage and the display of a Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem, if enacted.

Comments about the proposed ordinance and guidelines may be directed to current city commission members Gary Schmidt, Don Peters, Jeanette Siemens, Zac Deeds and Kyle Farmer.

Commissioners tabled the golf cart ordinance proposal for further consideration, taking no action. Another issue recently presented to the city commission, which elicited no action, was that of dangerous dogs on the loose in or near Pratt's Lemon Park.

Pratt residents Tracy Hamilton, whose dog was injured, and Kenny Hubbard, whose dog was killed, addressed the full city commission on March 1.

Both incidents reportedly occurred on the dog owners’ properties in the vicinity of Lemon Park. Both live on South Pine Street and said a dog running loose without an owner in sight was to blame for the horror they experienced. They asked that city commissioners replace the ban on pit-bull dogs because they said the dog that attacked their own animals was of that breed.

“I’ll never get that image out of my head, seeing my dog get murdered in front of me,” Hubbard said.

Hamilton said his dog is recovering from injuries, but that he still has concerns about walking his dog in Lemon Park.

“Now it feels like I have to have my head on swivel,” Hamilton said.

Mayor Gary Schmidt said when city commissioners enacted the Dangerous Animal Ordinance in 2018, they based their decision on research and opted not to make the ordinance breed specific.

“I don’t think we have any intent to change the ordinance,” Schmidt said.

It was noted at the meeting that both Hamilton and Hubbard have municipal court cases pending regarding the attacks.

In other business for the month, commissioners:

* approved a plan to provide improvements to U.S. Highway 54 through Pratt, from Ninnescah Street east to the junction of State Road 61, as proposed by Pratt Public Works Director Russ Rambat; work will include sandblasting or grinding off all existing striping before restriping the highway with proper highway-standard materials, with work expected to be completed before Miss Kansas Pageant events in early June. The project will be financed with $83,762 in funding through the Federal Highway Fund Ex- change Program that the city is allocated annually with the balance to be paid from the street department’s 2021 budget for street improvements.

* approved lease-purchase financing in the amount of $149,784.00 for a new sanitation truck with Fusion Bank, formerly First State Bank & Trust; the first of five annual payments in the amount of $31,122.52 will be due April 1, 2022; financing is for a 2021 Freightliner MS 106 with Hell PT 1000 20- yard rear-load refuse packer, with delivery expected March 31.

* finalized a February 2021 agreement to hire Robert Slinkard as Public Defender for $33,000 to be dispersed in 11 equal monthly installments of $3,000 on the last day of each month.

The next Pratt City Commission meeting is April 5.