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Golf cart ordinance proposal revived

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | January 15, 2021 7:00 AM

After stalling out last year, a proposal that would allow Libby residents to drive golf carts on certain streets is roaring back to life.

Members of the Libby City Council’s ordinance subcommittee revived the ordinance discussion during a Jan. 6 meeting. The proposal is now bound for a second showing before city council where the full body will decide if it is to become law.

The potential change in ordinance cleared the committee in September but died on the floor during a city council meeting a few weeks later.

City Councilor Peggy Williams said the same residents who championed the cause the first time around asked the ordinance committee to review the proposal again. Supporters hope that allowing golf carts on city streets will make it easier for those with handicaps to travel in Libby.

As it stands, the draft ordinance has not changed since councilors last reviewed it.

Under the proposal, the city would restrict carts on U.S. Highway 2, state Highway 37 and Mineral Avenue. Streets with posted speed limits of over 25 miles per hour are also off-limits. Drivers may, however, cross U.S Highway 2 and state Highway 37 at select intersections.

Carts would still be banned from areas where motor vehicles are restricted, including sidewalks and multi-paths.

The ordinance requires owners to ensure their carts are outfitted with headlamps, stop lights, tail lights, reflectors, a horn and a mirror. Before hitting the road, drivers must have a valid driver’s license or low speed restricted driver’s license. Owners must also register their carts with the Montana Motor Vehicle Division and procure liability insurance.

Councilors would consider a violation of the ordinance a misdemeanor with a penalty of a fine of no more than $500.