HOLCOMB — The Holcomb City Council took a short field trip during its meeting Wednesday after a Holcomb resident proposed that the council make an ordinance that would make it legal to drive utility vehicles on city streets in Holcomb.
Landon Lukens brought his personal utility vehicle on a trailer parked in front of the Holcomb Administration building so the council could get a better idea of the type of vehicle he is proposing they make street legal.
Lukens said he brought the same proposal to the Garden City Commission in 2013 when he was a Garden City resident. The proposal ultimately was approved and the City Commission passed an ordinance to allow micro utility vehicles to operate on certain city streets.
“It’s not a four-wheeler, it’s not a golf cart, it’s not a dirt bike. It’s got a frame, a roll (cage), seat belts, it’s got doors…” Lukens said, adding that it has turn signals, headlights and more. “It’s basically everything an automobile has."
Lukens said that a UTV has better gas mileage than his Ford truck and if it was street legal, he and his family could hop in it and drive to a restaurant or even to a gas station in town to refuel it.
“You wouldn’t have to haul it onto a trailer to move it. There are a lot of reasons,” Lukens said as one of the reasons why he is proposing the ordinance.
Lukens said despite UTV’s not being street legal in Holcomb, others can be seen driving theirs to restaurants or fueling up at Holcomb gas stations.
“They can’t do that unless you guys pass an ordinance,” Lukens said.
Lukens’ proposal to the Holcomb City Council regarding UTVs is similar to Garden City’s. Garden City’s ordinance requires that utility vehicles be registered, have proof of insurance and undergo a safety inspection meeting certain equipment requirements, including headlights and tail lights, tag lights, rear reflectors, turn signals, braking systems, horns and warning devices, side mirrors, safety belts and shoulder harnesses, mufflers and street legal tires.
“Like I said, you guys can make the rules however lenient or however strict you guys want. It’s up to you,” Lukens said. “They’re expected to obey the same street laws, seat belt laws, speed limit and the driver must have a drivers license. I have insurance on it, it’s in the glove box. That was one thing with Garden, if you’re going to be on a public street you need to have insurance.”
They’re expected to obey the same street laws, seat belt laws, speed limit and the driver must have a drivers license. I have insurance on it, it’s in the glove box. That was one thing with Garden, if you’re going to be on a public street you need to have insurance.
Lukens said the City Council could make the ordinance to where those who are needing to tag their UTV would have to go to Garden City to get them inspected and to get tags, or they could set it up where Holcomb provides the service.
“If you guys wanted to collect the income, you can,” he told the council. Mayor Brian Rupp told Lukens that one thing to be considered is that what it would cost Holcomb to offer tagging services for UTV’s since there wouldn’t be as many to tag as Garden City has, noting that costs could be higher than what Garden City’s is.
A majority of the council expressed that they would prefer that Holcomb residents would have to get their UTVs tagged in Garden City, if an ordinance is passed, as Holcomb residents already have to go to Garden to tag their regular vehicles.
Robin Lujan, Holcomb’s City Administrator said one concerns would be that if an ordinance that allows UTVs street legal is passed, others would assume that they could use golf carts, ATV and/or dirt bikes on public roads.
“Once we get our police department up and going, I think we should at least get their consideration on it,” Lujan said.
The Council took no action on the proposal Wednesday night, and came to the consensus that they would discuss it more and potentially make a decision at its July 25 meeting.