STARKVILLE — Starkville residents may soon be allowed to drive golf carts throughout the city.
Aldermen held its first of two public hearings on a golf cart or low-speed vehicle ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Low-speed vehicles means any four-wheeled electric or gasoline-powered vehicle that has a top speed greater than 20 mph but less than 25 mph and includes safety equipment. This ordinance was brought forth by Ward 4 Alderman Mike Brooks with the help of board attorney Chris Latimer.
“From what we’re trying to do, I think Latimer has done a good job,” Brooks said.
The board will vote on the ordinance at its next meeting on Oct. 5.
If the ordinance passes, golf cart drivers must follow a series of regulations that Latimer laid out.
All drivers must have a driver’s license, register their golf cart or low-speed vehicle with the city clerk’s office and pay a “reasonable” fee, which will go into the city’s general fund.
Golf carts may be operated on public roads and streets in the city except streets that are Mississippi Department of Transportation highways and those that have an established speed limit of greater than 35 mph. Golf carts must use the outside lane of multilane streets and roads when applicable.
Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver expressed approval for the ordinance saying he believes residents would enjoy being able to drive golf carts in the city, especially during game day weekends.
“I think it would be a good idea to try this. … I think you won’t have that many complaints with the golf carts.”
Sports Facility Management
The city will continue to negotiate a contract with private company Sports Facility Management to manage all city parks.
The board approved a partnership with the company at its Sept. 7 meeting. SFM, which already is contracted to manage Cornerstone Park, will work with the current Parks and Recreation Department to advance park operations and opportunities.
Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn moved to rescind the board’s previous approval of this partnership at Tuesday’s meeting, saying he believes the city should wait to see how the company manages Cornerstone before deciding to give it the authority over all city parks.
“We should have waited two years to see what kind of performance, what kind of service they will give to Cornerstone that these people who would be managing our parks are going to bring us,” Vaughn said.
Spruill said she believes SFM will not only help with Parks and Rec’s staffing issues but bring professionalism and skill to the city.
“We have an opportunity from a timing perspective because we are very shorthanded and these folks have a much deeper understanding for athletic analogy to bring people in and to train and up to speed in ways that we cannot quite focus on,” Spruill said.
The motion ultimately failed 4-3, with Vaughn, Beatty and Ward 5 Alderman Hamp Beatty being the only ones in favor of the rescinding.
Starkville residents will soon have to pay for many of their parking spots in the Midtown and the Cotton District areas of the city.
The board unanimously voted to put bids out for paid parking services. ParkMobile, a third-party parking service, is the preeminent app used in most cities, Spruill said, but the board voted to see all options available before making a decision.
Streets with paid parking would include University Drive, Adkerson Way, Paige Avenue, Maxwell Street, Lampkin Street, Russell Street and Colonel Muldrow.
Ward 3 Alderman Jeffrey Rupp said he believes these parts of town are a good area for paid parking, and since Mississippi State University already uses a paid parking system, the city should follow suit.
“The university is already using this system and recommended it to the board,” Rupp said. “They have had success with it. I think it’s only a matter of time before the city goes down that road.”