At its March 17 meeting, the Holly Springs Town Council voted to allow registered golf carts on Town streets with speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less (primarily neighborhood roads) beginning July 1. Golf cart owners who wish to drive carts on streets soon will be able to register their carts with the Holly Springs Police Department. The annual registration fee will be $50.
"I think what this ordinance will do for us, the Police Department, from an enforcement standpoint, is clarify what the expectation is ... how we approach" golf carts on roads, said Police Chief John Herring.
Only licensed drivers ages 18 and older will be allowed to operate golf carts on the roads. Carts must be inspected prior to registration and must have seat belts, headlights and tail/brake lights, side- and rear-view mirrors, and turn signals. The operator and riders must wear seat belts and obey other traffic laws.
Also at the meeting, the council held a public hearing for input from residents about what the Town should include in the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget. The hearing was an opportunity for citizens to provide ideas before budget process began instead of having to wait until the end of the process and the public hearing required by law. That hearing will be held in May or June when making changes to the budget might not be feasible.
Town Manager Chuck Simmons noted the meeting's hearing was not required by law.
"It's a Holly Springs tradition," he said, adding that it provides an opportunity for Holly Springs residents to come forward if they have questions or ideas.
Councilman Hank Dickson said the hearing was not the only opportunity for residents to share thoughts. He said locals are welcome to contact council members by email or phone, or by speaking at any meeting.
"You don't have to wait for an agenda item to be framed as a public hearing," he said. "You can share those thoughts at any time."
One resident spoke during the public hearing.
Also, the council adopted a $1,512,928 budget amendment to fund resurfacing roads this year. Streets to be resurfaced include Holly Meadow Drive (Sycamore to Holly Branch Drive); Sturminister Drive, Thorton Green Place and Chillmark Drive in the Ballenridge Subdivision; and the entrance blocks of Hyannis Drive and Osterville Drive in the Arbor Creek subdivision.
The streets were identified based on a pavement condition survey conducted a few years ago that prioritized Town streets in need of resurfacing.
The council approved a $379,000 change order for constructing an additional restroom building at the North Main Athletic Complex. The Town ultimately plans on funding the building through a grant promised to the Town from Wake County. The funds for the building will be borrowed from the Town's general fund balance until the formal grant agreement with the county is finalized.