People in Elsie will soon have a new option for getting around: golf carts. Starting Thursday, anyone can drive a golf cart on village streets during daylight hours, so long as the golf cart is registered with the village.
"A few of us got some golf carts that we like driving around and the state law says that technically you can't," said Kory Witt, Elsie Village Council trustee, "and if the county doesn't have a law saying otherwise, then you're able to pass an ordinance that allows you to drive golf carts on the street. We have a lot of people in the village that have them for recreation, like to just drive around and have a good time, and we kind of took the ball and ran with it."
The village has a population of just under 1,000, and Village Manager Shane Grinnell said that roughly 10 to 15 percent of village residents own a golf cart.
"We've had golf carts here in town slowly creeping up over the last couple years," Grinnell said. "We were having some issues where we had people getting golf carts and there just wasn't really a set of rules for anybody. So, nobody really knew if they could do it or they couldn't do it, who could do it, when they could drive it. There was just a lot of gray area. If you look at the ordinances, we didn't have anything, so technically it was against the law to have a golf cart on the street, but, we were okay with it. This way, it puts everybody on the same page and everybody has the same set of rules to go by."
The ordinance states that you must be a licensed driver and over the age of 16 to drive a golf cart on village roads. Grinnell and Witt looked to Marysville, Michigan, which has a similar ordinance, for guidance.
"We work with a lot of different villages and cities about our size. The city of Marysville had an ordinance that we took a lot of the information from and made it our own," Grinnell said. "This is a good way to get out and enjoy the town in a safe way."
Registering your golf cart with the village is free, even if you don't live here.
All you have to do is go to the Village Hall and, "someone that works for the village will inspect the golf cart and then you'll fill out a little piece of paper and we'll give you a sticker," Witt said.
"My truck usually, once I get home from work, parks in the driveway and I drive this all over town," he added. "It's just super relaxing. It's nice to just drive around and enjoy the weather and see the people that walk through the village."
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