New roads for golf carts

Published 8:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2018

Polk to hold public hearing for Moore, Pea Ridge roads

MILL SPRING — After agreeing a few months ago to regulate golf carts on Green River Cove Road, Polk County commissioners are now considering other requests.

Commissioners met Monday and reviewed requests to add John Shehan, Moore and Pea Ridge roads for golf cart use.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson said the county should not consider John Shehan Road, as there is no speed limit signage, which means the road is 55 mph. In order for the county to regulate golf cart usage, the road has to be 35 mph or less, along with other restrictions.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting inspections on golf carts for use on approved  roads. The county is also allowing petitions for new roads 35 mph or less to be added.

Commissioners denied the request to add John Shehan Road to the golf cart road list Monday.

“On Moore Road, it meets the criteria and also on Pea Ridge,” said Commissioner Myron Yoder. “If you go 35 mph on Moore Road, there’s no problem. Green River Cove Road has as many curves and hills as Moore Road. How can we say no if it meets the criteria when we give the same on the other side of the county?”

Yoder also said he sees bicycles and other vehicles on Moore Road.

Commissioner Chair Jake Johnson said he agrees with Yoder, and does not see a problem allowing golf carts on Moore Road.

Gasperson said if the point is to drive golf carts to the Tryon International Equestrian Center, it will not work if John Shehan Road cannot be included.

County Manager Marche Pittman cautioned commissioners about allowing partial roads because it could create an enforcement nightmare. He said if an entire road is not included, the county would have to install signs to indicate where golf carts are allowed.

Commissioner Tommy Melton said he wants to have a public hearing.

Commissioners agreed to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, to hear comments about allowing golf carts on Moore and Pea Ridge roads.

Johnson voted against the public hearing, saying he wanted to vote on one of the roads Monday and have a public hearing on the other one.

Commissioners also reviewed emails and heard comments both for and against allowing golf carts on the requested roads Monday.

The public hearing will be held in the R. Jay Foster Hall of Justice, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus.