Golf carts now allowed on Green River Cove Road

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New ordinance effective July 1

MILL SPRING — Golf carts are officially allowed on Green River Cove Road, effective Sunday.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance in January to allow golf carts on Green River Cove Road, which stretches from Mill Spring to Saluda.

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Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said Monday that all the processes are now in place to regulate the golf cart ordinance.

“They have to go to the tax office first to fill out paperwork and then to the sheriff’s office for an inspection,” Pittman said.

The state allows the use of golf carts on public roads as long as the speed limit is 35 mph or lower, but residents from Green River Cove Road asked the county to regulate its own ordinance because the state requires a vin number and the costs are $2,600. The state allows counties and municipalities to regulate their own ordinances, with county and municipality ordinances required to be at least as restrictive as state regulations.

Polk County’s ordinance requires seat belts and car seats, as well as other regulations more restrictive than state rules.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office will register each golf cart and give an annual renewal sticker.

The cost to register a golf cart will be $100 for the original inspection and $75 every year for the renewal if the golf cart is trailered and brought in to the sheriff’s office for inspection. The sheriff’s office will come to a property for an inspection, but the cost for that service will be $150 for the original inspection and $125 for the annual renewal.

Golf cart drivers will have to be licensed and at least 16 years of age, and all vehicle laws will be administered, including driving while impaired.

Violations against the county ordinance will be a $50 fine. Any state law violated will be prosecuted in court as any other vehicle violation.

County attorney Jana Berg said earlier this year that golf cart operators have to show registration, proof of ownership and proof of insurance on their golf carts.

The county is also open to having other roads with speed limits of 35 mph or lower added to the ordinance.

Residents who wish to have their roads added to the list of allowed roads can fill out an application, which will also include an attachment for a list of residents on the road in favor. The application will be available at the county manager’s office in the Womack building in Columbus.