Tonganoxie City Council approves UTV ordinances

April 16, 2019

Expansion of UTV usage in Tonganoxie moved forward with approval of ordinances addressing the vehicle use.

Tonganoxie City Manager George Brajkovic laid out ordinances and fees that he said staff did a good job of “streamlining” for residents who want to operate the vehicles within city limits.

If the ordinances become official after legal publication in The Mirror, the changes could go into effect next month.

Some of the highlights of updated UTV usage would be that they can only be operated on streets with speed limits of 30 mph or less. They also would need to be compliant with noise and standard traffic ordinances.

Valid driver’s licenses will be required to operate the vehicles, along with a city registration sticker that will need to be displayed on the UTVs.

Owners also must provide liability coverage and have the UTV registered.

They also must go through annual registration and inspection with the city through the police department. Annual fees were set at $200. If someone operating a UTV does not have proper UTV registration, the fine is $300, though it essentially will be a $100 fine, as the rest will go to standard fees of $100 for registration and $100 for inspection.

The council voted, 3-1, on the ordinances, with Loralee Stevens opposing each one. Mayor Jason Ward was absent, so Council President Rocky Himpel assumed Ward’s duties.

Stevens thought the fees were exorbitant.

I’m opposed, not because I don’t think we should do creative things,” Stevens said. “I do appreciate staff’s time on this. And while there is the suggestion that it is streamlined for folks, I feel the numbers we have seen for registration and inspection are cost prohibitive. It’s logistically complicated and it just seems exclusive to me.

“I feel like people who already have vehicles like this will have to make expensive modifications.”

Tonganoxie resident and UTV enthusiast Cody Thornton has been working with staff as city officials crafted the ordinances.

He didn’t think the fees or requirements were outlandish.

“I think it would be affordable for anybody,” he said. “Not to try to step on your toes at all, but a lot of these vehicles have the windshields, mirror, stuff like that.

“There might be a little expenses for people who don’t have those … there’s a lot of people in town who like to ride in the rural country who would gladly pay that (then to haul them on a trailer). I think you all will be pleasantly surprised.”

Summer movie nights approved

Tonganoxie Business Association will be sponsoring summer movie nights at Gallagher Park.

The council approved, 4-0, the movie nights at the park.

The first one will be May 17, with future dates to be released for June, July and August. Movies, which will be free, will start around 8:30 p.m. or 8:45 p.m. each of the scheduled nights.

Playground agreement OK’d

The council approved consideration of release agreement with Tonganoxie VFW Post 9271 for removal and replacement of playground equipment.

Approved a schedule agreement at Tonganoxie Water Park for practices and competitions with Tongie Tidal Waves. Tidal Waves coach Janet Falk said this year’s home meets would be June 14, 21 and 28 all Fridays.

The team is in its 11th season. Falk said she started with 35 swimmers the first year and had more than 145 last summer.

“We are without a doubt the largest program in our league,” Falk said. “The program has just been really popular. Parents help with coaching.

There also will be an awards night July 2 at the water park.

“It’s fast and furious,” Falk said. “It lasts about five weeks.”

Approved plymovent installation from Grant Proceeds.

Approved six sets of personal protective equipment for fire suppression not to exceed $9,781.

Approved 2019-20 plan year employee insurance benefits renewals with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.

Approved acceptance of utility easement from Shaun Thomas Vickers.

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