After hearing members of the public express their support at Monday’s meeting, the Princeton City Council will continue to discuss the possibility of allowing UTVs and ATVs to be used on city streets.
Mayor Joel Quiram opened the topic for discussion during the Mayor’s Notes section of the meeting, with council members saying they were open to the idea.
“I think it will have to go through certain parameters,” council member Michael McCall said. “I’m not against it as long as we follow certain regulations.”
Quiram also expressed support for the idea as long as the city ordinance follows the steps other city governments have proposed.
“I think it could be a safe mode for long-term affordable transportation around the city,” Quiram said. “It would be allowed on federal or state roads.”
Quiram added that the eventual city ordinance would not include Main, Peru or Elm streets.
The possible order would require a slew of safety features to be included on vehicles, including a variation in insurance, registration, turn signals, brake lights or other safety-related settings. .
“In today’s world with the way everything is with gas prices, as long as it’s done right and it’s economical, I think the biggest part would be the application of our strengths of l ‘order,” Councilman Hector Gomez said.
Gomez also added that if council were to pass an ordinance allowing these vehicles on city streets, then a lot of informative public relations would need to be done to ensure the public is aware of what is allowed and what is not allowed.
Princeton City Manager Theresa Wittenauer said she has gathered information about related ordinances from smaller, similar-sized city governments in Princeton and will send it to council members for review.
“I don’t think it’s something we’ll have to reinvent,” Wittenauer said. “It’s obviously happening. Many prescriptions look mostly identical.
Local communities that have passed similar ordinances include Buda, Wyanet, Kewanee, Dixon and Henry.
The initial discussion did not include the topic of golf carts, as Quiram mentioned that these were smaller vehicles and might require a different set of requirements for discussion.
During the final public comment section, a Princeton resident urged the city council to allow golf carts as part of the possible ordinance as well.
City officials will begin research and fieldwork on a discussed ordinance and the matter will be revisited at future city council meetings.