Golf carts coming soon to some Gulf Shores streets

By Crystal Cole
Posted 3/28/17

Following changes in state law following the Nov. 2016 elections, some Gulf Shores residents may soon be able to use their golf carts on limited city streets.

During the city council’s last work …

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Golf carts coming soon to some Gulf Shores streets

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Following changes in state law following the Nov. 2016 elections, some Gulf Shores residents may soon be able to use their golf carts on limited city streets.

During the city council’s last work session, Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore said following the legal change, he and his staff have been working with local residents to allow the carts to be used on certain streets.

“We have worked in conjunction with the Craft Farms residents in putting this together,” Delmore said. “It was a collaborative effort.”

Delmore said the carts would only be allowed on streets that are 25 miles per hour or under. He added the carts have to have a variety of safety equipment, including seat belts for each passenger.

“Headlights, taillights, turn signals and other warning devices as well,” Delmore said.

The gold carts can only be operated from dawn until dusk, and no child under the age of five may ride on a cart.

Delmore said his department intends to conduct a clinic at Craft Farms some time in early April, where carts can be inspected and residents can attend a seminar to get proper education on how to follow the new laws.

“Following that, we’ll sign off on the certificate of inspection and that they’ve attended the class,” Delmore said. “They can then come to city hall, pay $25 and they’ll get a sticker similar to a hurricane sticker that allows them to operate on those streets.”

Delmore said the driver of any cart had to be at least 18 years old, which Mayor Robert Craft said was the only issue he thought residents may have.

“We’ve had numerous incidents of really young kids driving carts that really don’t understand the laws,” Craft said. “That may be the biggest issue out there residents have. It may be a good excuse for them to tell the kids - ‘You can’t do it, you’ll get arrested.’”

Delmore said the city could have gone with the driver’s license age of 16, but felt it was better to raise it due to the added maturity that comes in that time.

Delmore said the ticket for non-compliance with the new law would be $50.

Public Works purchases

Public Works Director Mark Acreman came before the council with three purchases for his department that were all within budget.

Acreman’s first request was a new 35-ton gooseneck trailer to replace the city’s existing heavy equipment trailer that is showing its age.

“When it was fabricated, the Beatles had just appeared on Ed Sullivan, so we’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth out of our existing trailer,” Acreman said.

The item was budgeted for $40,000, but the low bid from Technology International came in slightly under at $39,815.

Acreman said the city uses the trailer to haul major equipment to the beaches.

“We haul our beach tractors and our beach sweeper up and down the highway with this,” Acreman said.

Acreman also asked for the council’s approval to purchase a new beach rake, which he said would be a big improvement over the city’s current beach sifter.

“This new beach rake would allow us to get into the surf zone because it does better with wet sand,” Acreman said. “We’ve been wanting to get one of these for a couple of years.”

Acreman said the purchase was budgeted for $50,000, but the low bid came back at $46,000, and included a $14,000 credit for the city utilizing a demo model and an additional $10,000 trade-in for the city’s old beach sifter.

“That brings the total bid down to $22,000, which is well below what was budgeted,” Acreman said.

Acreman also asked the council to allow the purchase of additional stop signs for the intersection of Brigadoon Trail and Lagoon Winds Drive.

Acreman said if that three-way intersection had been constructed today, a three-way stop would have been required, so this would just bring that area up to date.

“It’s a safety issue that needs to be addressed,” Acreman said. “We want to bring it up to standard safety at this intersection and the police and fire chiefs concur this is a safety issue that needs to be addressed now.”