Loda mayor: ‘Enough is enough’ on illegal use of golf carts

LODA — Problems with golf carts being driven illegally in the village persist.

And town officials have had enough.

“I am not a cop, but I know how to call one and file a complaint,” Village Board President Carol Arseneau told the 30-some people gathered at Village Hall for last Wednesday night’s board meeting. “Every single golf cart needs to have a permit. To not have one is a violation of our village ordinance. I will swear out a complaint and have you arrested (if a violation occurs). Enough is enough, and I will not be chasing people down.”

It wasn’t just village officials complaining about the use of golf carts during the meeting.

Resident Steve Wise said he had seen a golf cart racing a car on Jefferson Street. And residents Darlene and Don Starkey complained about a kid speeding up and down the streets in a golf cart by the Catholic church during the annual Loda Good Ole Days celebration in late July.

“I think people want to associate that activity with us and the festival we are having, and nothing could be further from the truth,” said Darlene Starkey. “We are trying to bring something great to the village, that showcases the village.”

Trustee Cathy Tittle said that with a little advance planning, “I think these problems can be easily rectified.”

Meanwhile, Arseneau suggested that golf cart permits be issued at a cost of $20 per year, with each permit valid from May 1 through May 1 each year.

But resident Terry Henricks said he feels a fee of $20 per year for a golf cart permit is extremely high. Henricks said that amount should cover four years — at a minimum.

“If you charge $20 per year, you are taking away the savings that we get by operating a golf cart or similar vehicle,” Henricks told the board.

Other business
In other board business at last week’s meeting:

➜ After an executive session, the board voted 5-0 to pursue legal action against Jake Wise and Robin Ecker regarding a violation of the building code. The legal action was suggested by Arseneau.

➜ Trustee Ronda Breeden questioned why the village’s roads had not yet been oiled and chipped. Gray Material, the contractor awarded the bid to do the work, is running slightly behind because of some inclement weather, Breeden was told. The company is supposed to be done with the work by Aug. 24.

➜ The board voted to accept a bid from All Phases of Construction of Paxton to repair the pavilion at the village park. The materials will be purchased by a business in town. All Phases will not charge for the labor.

➜ The recently formed Loda Zoning Board met for the first time in early August and will meet for a second time at 5 p.m. Sept. 6, the board learned.

➜ The village attorney was instructed to mail letters to the owners of several properties that have been deemed to be in poor condition. In some cases, the health department has deemed there are numerous violations.

➜ Two building permits were approved via 5-0 votes — one for Aaron and J.D. McDermott, the other for Louis Lopez.

➜ The board learned that the village audit had been completed. The auditor, Stan Feller, was not present to discuss it, but he will be present at the next meeting in September. The board discussed the auditor’s recommendation to raise water rates significantly, even doubling the current rate. In relation to that, a new way to calculate the interest on the water rates was suggested, but the village treasurer, Myles Reck, said it could actually lead to the village collecting less money.  “I am for raising it, but doubling it is a bit much,” said Trustee Jon Boone. “I think we need to take smaller steps than that.”

➜ An ordinance regarding the village’s participation in the Illinois Municipal League insurance was approved.

➜ Funds totaling $6,000 were transfered from the general fund to the insurance fund.

➜ Former trustee Roy Hilgendorf said there is a property in town that has an overgrown lawn and trees interfering with a power lines.

➜ Hilgendorf announced that the annual Bicycle Across America, a charity event, will pass through the village on Aug. 24. Riders will start entering the village park at 7 a.m.

➜ From 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 27, a 90th birthday party will be held for Hilgendorf at the park, the board learned. Hilgendorf requested that the volleyball net be put up for the occasion.

➜ Resident Don Hutchinson suggested that stop signs replace yield signs at the intersection of Poplar and Adams streets. Hutchinson said kids are zooming around in various vehicles at that intersection, including golf carts. He said stop signs would possibly slow them down. The proposal will be discussed further at the September meeting.

➜ Henricks asked when the railroad tracks by the village building would be repaired.

➜ Former trustee John Zalaker said the village board needs to review the town’s fence ordinance. “I have had some problems with the fence ordinance and the placement of a fence as far as the property line,” said Zalaker. “I am having my attorney look into it.”

➜ Resident Steve Wise requested a building permit for 405 E. Jefferson St.

Location (3):Local, Iroquois County, Loda

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