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Council passes first reading of golf cart ordinance; seat belts will be required of all passengers

In the eyes of Bluffton's police golf carts on the golf course are simply golf carts. Golf carts on village streets will soon be recognized as vehicles. That means golf cart drivers will abide by all state laws governing vehicles.

The laws include seat belt requirements on all golf carts. It includes car seats for youngsters. Council passed the first reading of the ordinance on July 11.

The legislation came to council at the urging of Rick Skilliter, police chief. He told council that earlier this spring there was a serious incident was a 16-year-old girl was ejected from a cart. She ended up in critical condition in a Columbus hospital.

"There was no proof of reckless operation at the time of the crash," said Skilliter, "so I began to research what rules may exist governing the use of carts on the roadway to be able to better address future safety concerns."

The text of Skilliter's letter to council is available in an attachment at the bottom of this story. The ordinance is also available in an individual-page format also at the bottom of this story.

Although the village does not know how many golf carts are being driven in the village, it is estimated to be between 30 and 50.

Pool passes half price

Beginning Saturday season passes to the Bluffton Community Swimming Pool will be half price.

Those new prices follow:

Single season half-pass (taxpayer) $40
Single season half-pass (non-taxpayer) $52.50

Family season half-pass (taxpayer) $65
Family season half-pass (non-taxpayer) $90

Single senior citizen half-pass $20
Couple senior citizen half-pass $37.50

Pool hours are 1 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. daily. The pool's telephone number is 419-358-6991. Daily adult admission $3.

Council renewed the village's packaged insurance policies as of July 1 for the next 12 months. John Wagner, insurance agent for the village, said that the premium increase over 2009-10 is less than one percent.