Golf carts may soon be allowed on county roads

PLYMOUTH — Golf cart owners interested in cruising on county roads may soon be allowed to, according to Marshall County commissioners Monday morning.
County attorney Jim Clevenger advised commissioners Monday that he is revising a golf cart ordinance that would permit golf carts on certain county roads, mostly near area bodies of water.
“For the most part, (these roads), are around the lakes in Marshall County,” said Clevenger, adding, “At this point, I’m just looking for any input you might have.”
Clevenger mentioned that golf cart drivers would have to have insurance, proper lighting when driving at night, and that there would be fines for violations. Although Clevenger and Sheriff Tom Chamberlin had initially discussed an annual registration fee of $25, the idea was vetoed.
County commissioners were in favor of the ordinance, although commissioner Jack Roose noted that “It’s going to be a little confusing for folks who want to know exactly where they are allowed to ride.”
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer pointed out that the golf cart activity would be in “a concentrated area” near the lakes. He also said that the law would not allow the ordinance change until July 1.
In other business:
• Schneider, the company that host the county’s website, will be offering an online permitting process and requested a change order. Overmyer explained that the process would “communicate to all the departments — people can sit at home and do all this stuff online.”
Clevenger noted that Schneider would be installing new software for the change at the cost of $12,000. This system would bump up the total hosting and maintenance fee the county pays to $6,300 per year for all Schneider’s services.
“It’s an increase to cover this and also the other things they are hosting for us,” said Overmyer.
• Commissioners appointed Trent Bennett to the Marshall County Board of Zoning and Appeals. They also appointed Jim Faulkner to the Culver Plan Commission to replace Bobby Ruhnow.
• County highway department superintendent Neal Haeck told county commissioners that he had been in contact with Andrew Mears of Swan Lake Resort about placing new signs for the resort along county roads. A total of three new signs advertising the resort would be placed, two on North Tamarack Road, and one on Plymouth-LaPorte Trail.
“(Swan Lake) wants to change their image from a golf resort to just a resort,” explained Haeck, adding that the resort is also planning family and community activities for the summer.
• County commissioners decided to extend the free dirt giveaway at the Marshall County Jail through the month of June. Days dirt can be picked up are Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.