SACKETS HARBOR — Golf carts could soon become the reality on village-controlled streets after Mayor Alex M. Morgia brought up the idea in a Facebook post last Wednesday.
Mr. Morgia says the golf carts would be beneficial to the village because they will force people driving vehicles to slow down. He views speeding in the village as a huge problem.
He also said more parking would be available because a golf cart “fits in about half the space a car does.”
Mr. Morgia also expressed interest in a shuttle service but said he hopes it’s something businesses, rather than the village, would invest in.
He also hopes that restaurants would use the carts for delivery service. He says it would be cheaper than buying a vehicle as most delivery cars cost around $12,000, while a golf cart costs only $3,000.
He also said it will make the village more accessible to people, and simply bring more fun to the village.
In order to drive the carts, the mayor said there would be rules to follow.
“I think the bare minimum that I had put forward for our attorney to review is 16 (years old), driver’s licence, insured,” he said. “If we did opt to do it after dark, we would need lights (on the carts), but those are all kind of things to figure out, and it may be that we have a pilot that is limited hours. … It really depends on what we’re able to do, and what the board decides is a prudent way to roll out something.”
Mr. Morgia also proposed a “tag” system so carts could be identified.
Village trustees seemed upset, as some of them found out about the idea from the Facebook post, or through a phone call. Mr. Morgia said the social media post was to gauge public opinion before bringing it up to the board.
“For me, it didn’t make sense to bring it to the board until I had an idea of whether or not the village was supportive of that policy,” he said. “If most people said, ‘We don’t like it,’ then there’s no point in discussing ins and outs and no point in talking to (the attorney) and getting this detail.”
Village Trustee Kelly Sova said that she didn’t appreciate learning the news on Facebook and believes that board members could appear to be the “negative people,” if they turn down the idea.
“I am very open to new ideas, but I do not like being told on Facebook a new idea,” she said to the mayor. “I feel very strongly that you should’ve talked to us first.”
Everything depends on whether the village can allow the golf carts, as state law prohibits golf carts on public highways. But the mayor believes local law that can allow golf carts to be used on local roads.
“All of this is predicated on our attorney finding whether or not there’s a mechanism to do this. I did some research, but I am not a lawyer,” Mr. Morgia said. “I gathered enough information to say I think this is possible.”