Nichols City Council continues work on ATV and UTV ordinance

NICHOLS, Iowa–Work continued this month on a proposed ATV and UTV ordinance for the City of Nichols. The Nichols City Council first proposed instituting their own ATV and UTV ordinance after Muscatine County updated their ordinance.

In their draft of the ordinance, the Council decided on several regulations. The City would require all ATV and UTV owners, including those who have golf carts, to have their vehicles registered and inspected. ATV and UTV owners would register their vehicles with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and golf cart owners would purchase a city registration sticker, valid for one year. If the ordinance passes, ATV and UTV owners will have to schedule a time to have the city inspect their vehicle to make sure it has working lights and brakes, a safety flag and slow moving vehicle sign, and the proper registration sticker. Owners would also need to show their driver’s license and proof of insurance at this time.

For the safety of ATV and UTV riders and other motorists, the ordinance would also set the times people can use their vehicles during. The Council proposed allowing ATV and UTV use all year long between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. They may consider exceptions for those using their vehicle to get to and from work.

Currently, the ordinance remains in draft form. It will need to go through three public readings before the Council can codify it into law.

Ahead of the mayoral and city council elections in November, Secretary Treasurer Aeneas Schmitz reminded anyone interested in running for office to turn in their paperwork to him to notarize and deliver to the Muscatine County Auditor before Aug. 27. Schmitz also discussed the possibility of making an ordinance to make Nichols a petition city instead of a primary city, eliminating the need to possibly hold a primary election if more than a certain number of candidates run for office at once.

The Council also had a second public hearing on raising solid waste rates from $21 per month to $23 per month. The hearing closed with all ayes and will move to a third public hearing in September, as fewer than three quarters of the council attended the August meeting.