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Kannapolis becomes latest city to consider allowing golf carts on streets

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

KANNAPOLIS — Why drive a car around town when you can zip down the street in a golf cart?

For years, it’s been legal to drive a golf cart within China Grove’s town limits. Driving golf carts on certain Landis streets became OK last year. Then, the two towns made it OK to drive from Landis to China Grove, or vice versa, on a golf cart. Granite Quarry has also OK’d golf carts on city streets.

Now, it’s Kannapolis’ turn.

The Kannapolis City Council today will have a first reading of an ordinance that would allow golf carts on certain streets. Kannapolis’ ordinance change would be similar, if not identical, to those passed by other local municipalities.

Travelers who opt for golf carts instead of other methods of travel would need to be 16 years old, have a valid drivers license, maintain insurance as required for motor vehicles and register the golf cart with the Kannapolis Police Department. Headlights and taillights would be required.

The golf carts would be permitted only on streets with a speed limit under 35 mph. However, the city’s proposed ordinance would only allow golf carts to travel 20 mph or less. Like cars, people driving a golf cart wouldn’t be allowed to be intoxicated.

Once approved, police would be able to issue a $50 penalty for violations of the ordinance, according to today’s agenda documents.

The Kannapolis City Council will meet at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 401 Laureate Way.

In other business on today’s agenda:

• The City Council will discuss an agreement to allow Landis to purchase water from Kannapolis.

The Town of Landis currently purchases water from the City of Kannapolis at a rate of $3.15 per 1,000 gallons per day. However, that rate is part of a short-term agreement. Landis has requested a permanent agreement.

The agreement up for consideration on Sunday contains a steadily increasing rate for the purchase of water. The rate would be $2.47 per 1,000 gallons of water in the first year. By the 10th year, the rate would be $3.22 per 1,000 gallons.

• As part of the consent agenda, the City Council will increase its capital project ordinance for a parking deck from $500,000 to $12.1 million.

The parking deck is part of the city’s downtown revitalization. More specifically, it’s part of a “downtown demonstration project.” Retail space, apartments and possibly a hotel are also parts of the demonstration project. The first year in debt payments on the $12.1 million will be about $1.2 million and decrease in following years, according to city projections.

During a previous meeting, the Kannapolis City Council gave its approval to the demonstration project.

• The city council will considering adopting a “Declaration of Interdependence” promoted by County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds.

If it’s approved, Kannapolis will be the latest in a number of local municipalities to pass the declaration. Edds hopes to gain the support of all local cities.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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