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Galesburg and Monmouth say no to golf carts, UTVs on city streets

A growing number of area residents want to be able to drive golf carts, UTVs, and other low-speed vehicles on city streets.

In many smaller communities, it’s already allowed.

But the Galesburg and Monmouth city councils on Monday both voted down ordinances that would allow it.

In Galesburg, the no was nearly unanimous.

The council voted 6-0 against allowing registered and inspected golf carts and UTVs on some city streets.

Ward 7 council member Larry Cox abstained, saying he was too conflicted on the issue.

Cox said he’s in favor of ordinances that lessen restrictions on residents, but he worries about safety.

“I believe these UTVs, if people followed the guidelines and the restrictions, would be safer than motorcycles. However, we have to weigh between safety and freedom, and that’s not an easy choice,” Cox said.

Other concerns voiced were insurance and liability issues, and adding more work to an already strained police department.

The Monmouth city council already voted against allowing golf carts on city streets last year.

But a revised ordinance came up for a vote on Monday.

The council went 4-2 against it, with Ward 3’s Juan Pineda and Ward 4’s John Vanvleet voting in favor.

But in Monmouth, the issue is not quite dead.

Vanvleet proposed an amendment that would lower the proposed registration fee from $100 to $50.

The council voted 4-2 to allow a vote on the amended ordinance next month.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.