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Leesburg Considers Golf Cart Ordinance Change

Leesburg City Center. (Photo: Nick Deranek/News Now Warsaw)
The town’s golf cart ordinance will soon see some changes to address violators on other types of transportation.

Street Commissioner Craig Charlton told the Leesburg Town Board Monday that the town needs to amend its ordinance to include drivers of minibikes, dirt bikes and go-karts. He said he has had several complaints from town residents of drivers who are “far too young.”

These have included “one little guy, 7 years old … who ’bout got hit a couple of times,” Charlton said.

Board Vice President Tom Moore said he hated to say it, but it “should be a matter of common sense.”

Charlton asked that the town’s ordinance be amended to include minibikes and other such vehicles, whether electric or gas-powered.

The board asked town attorney Vern Landis to review state statute, then they will discuss the issue further at the October meeting.

Landis will also be looking into how the town will handle people who aren’t paying their fines for violations. Though town ordinance sets amounts starting at $25 for a first offense, there’s “no language for enforcement” in the ordinance, Charlton said.

Landis said the town can take offenders who don’t pay to small claims court. He said the town must send a letter to the violator first, saying if they don’t pay after 30 days then the town can sue, which will add attorney fees and court costs to the amount due.

Landis said he will talk to someone from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office about running license plates to identify owners of vehicles violating town ordinances.

In other business:

• Trick-or-treat was set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Homeowners who do not wish to participate should leave their porch lights off.

• Derek Tenney reported three call-outs for sewer pumps that had quit working. One of the pumps was clogged with wipes, feminine hygiene products and cigarette butts. Moore asked Tenney if records were being kept so repeat offenders could be identified. Tenney said he has records for every violation, and this most recent example was a first-time offender.

• The town will need around $11,000 to complete the Van Buren Street curb project, Charlton said. It has the option of transferring money from the Economic Development Income Tax fund, though Moore suggested the money come from the depreciation fund. Landis said the town must first advertise the need for funds with the exact amount. Charlton will work up the exact amount needed so the town can advertise, then revisit the issue at its October meeting.

• Board member Christina Archer said she is working on the written plan for the Walkways and Bikeways project using K21 grant money. She said she’s requested cost information from two companies but hasn’t heard from either of them yet.

Charlton said trees will be a big issue with the project. The plan is to do a semi-circle in the concrete for trees that grow where the new path will go. Charlton will meet with homeowners over the winter to discuss their option of taking a tree down before the walkway goes in. It’s their choice, he said.

• A representative from the Area Plan Commission will come to the town’s October meeting so the board may ask questions about forming its own plan commission. Moore said if a town meeting is needed, they will set the date at the October meeting.

• The board held a hearing for the 2021 budget, which was set at $264,496. The budget saw a decrease of $20,000 from the Motor Vehicle Highway fund. The town plans to approve the budget at its October meeting.

• The annual candleria was set for Dec. 12.

The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 12 in the town hall.