By Tim Douglass

Glenwood City Commissioners last week saw a first draft of an ordinance that would allow certain ATVs and golf carts to travel on city streets.

The ordinance is still in the early stages, but commissioners were directed by Troy Nelson, the city’s attorney, to review the draft and get back to his office or Administrator Dave Iverson with suggestions and changes to the ordinance.  “We need your input to get a clear final ordinance,” Nelson said.  

The city has been working on such an ordinance since conducting a public hearing on the matter earlier this year.   At that meeting, a group of local residents voiced their desire for the city to allow ATVs and golf carts on city streets. 

Glenwood Police Chief Dale Danter said at last week’s meeting that there “are a lot of people who want ATVs and golf carts allowed on city streets,” adding that many communities are now allowing it.

“We’re dealing with this issue on a weekly basis,” Danter told commissioners.  “There certainly is a group of (local) residents who want it.”  He added that there will likely be complaints on both sides of the issue.  Danter was encouraged to give his input on the proposed ordinance as well.”

Commissioner Mavis Pattee said she believed the commission needs to take a better look at the proposed ordinance and get the “key concepts identified,” then have another, more thorough conversation about it.

Currently the proposed ordinance would allow Class 2 ATVs or side-by-side ATVs to be operated on all city streets between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.  The ordinance also addresses vehicle equipment, like lights, turn signals, etc.  Class 1 ATVs would be allowed on city streets as well, but only during the winter months to accommodate their use with ice fishing.  

The ordinance calls for a city permit to drive the vehicles on city streets that would be renewed on an annual basis, it was stated at the meeting.  Much of the language in the ordinance has yet to be agreed upon, and once that occurs, Mayor Sherri Kazda suggested the city conduct a  public hearing on the matter to get the information to the public.  

In another action last Tuesday, the commission approved a parking variance for Pope County that allows fewer off-street parking spaces at its parking lot in front of Pope County’s renovated Human Services building on Minnesota Avenue and 2nd Street.  The issue was tabled in May after new information about the number of parking spaces needed by the Human Services were revealed by county officials.  The city tabled the issue until city administration could verify those numbers.  

According to a report provided by Fred Sandal of Hometown Planning, the company that examines variances for the city, it was determined that the county was over the requirement by just three parking spaces instead of the 11 spaces first reported by the city’s planning and zoning commission.  Based on the new information, the commission unanimously approved the variance. (5-0).

In other business, the commission: 

• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the City of Glenwood and Pope County for providing information technology services.  Danter recommended approval and it passed on a 5-0 vote.

• Approved the concept provided by Glenwood State Bank for the construction of a dumpster enclosure in the city’s parking lot along Franklin Ave. North and 1st Ave NE.  The enclosure would take two parking spaces and would be include the southeast corner of the lower lot.  Currently those parking spaces allow 1-hour parking.  The enclosure would have a door that could be closed and would conceal dumpsters and garbage containers from businesses on the north side of Minnesota Avenue.  It would be about 15-feet wide by 10 feet deep, it was stated.   The city’s garbage hauler, West Central Sanitation, supported the plan.  The idea was approved contingent on details being worked out with City Administrator, Dave Iverson, who was unable to be at last Tuesday’s meeting.