Are Golf Carts the Vehicle that would allow Culver to Annex the Lake?

September 2, 2009

Culver, Green, Humor, Rants

Green, Humor, Trends

Golf Cart 1I’ve been watching all the hullabaloo about golf carts in town.  It’s obviously a State-wide issue as the legislature has taken it up and clarified things.  (Is that possible?)   In the case of Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee, golf carts can be used within the Town of Culver as long as they meet minimum safety requirements and are registered with the Town.  This puts 3/4’s of the Lake and a large portion of the Culver Academies on the wrong side of the law when it comes to operating golf carts on public streets and highways.

Child restraints?  We don't need no stinkin' child restraints!

The new State Law  really hasn’t changed anything for the residents outside the Town.  It was and remains illegal to operate golf carts on public right-a-ways.  The new Law clarified the rights of Cities and Towns to license golf carts for use on their streets if they chose to to so.   Culver’s Golf Cart Ordinance is available for review on the town website here

C'mon!  Do you really think this would stand up to a collision with the real thing?

C'mon! Do you really think this would stand up to a collision with the real thing?

It’s unbelievable how passionate people are on this issue!  I find it somewhat unfathomable that so many people are willing to send their children out in these vehicles to compete for right-a-way with cars, trucks, SUV’s and Semi’s.  I’m sure some of these same people check out Consumer’s Reports for crash test ratings before buying a car.  How would a golf cart rate in a collision with a car?  To paraphrase a classic movie line, “Child Restraints?  We don’t need no stinkin’ child restraints!”

But that’s not why I’m typing at you today.  Tongue firmly in cheek, I propose that the Culver Town Council is missing a wonderful opportunity to Annex the Lake!  This has always been a divisive issue.  The Town always feels that they are providing services to property owners that don’t support them through taxes.  The Lake residents feel that they are already under too much Town control without representation.   Are golf carts the vehicle that would allow Culver to annex the Lake?  I say, “Full speed ahead!”  Heck, it’s only a golf cart… What is that, like, maybe 20 mph?

At least one current Town Council Member, Lynn Overmyer, has a golf cart and uses it around town regularly.  I would suggest that she run for re-election on a Golf Cart Platform.   Admittedly a precarious position where she would have to balance many issues… but could this be the issue that unites the Lake, Town and Academies?  I’m picturing Lance driving the cart while Lynn expounds on the virtues of community in a rousing oratory from the bag rack…  like off the back of a train, Herbert Hoover style…

Marshall County with Union Township in Orange

Marshall County with Union Township highlighted

Personally, I think we should think big on this.  Our Man Mitch would like the State to do away with the townships.  Let’s be a progressive community and form our own smaller version of Indianapolis’s uni-gov by absorbing all of Union Township while we’re at it.  There’s only a thin ribbon of area to the south and west between Culver’s Zoning boundary and the County Line anyway.  Burr Oak and Hibbard will become suburbs!  Culver will once again have train service.  Our boundaries will encompass a river and a couple of additional lakes.  (They’re small, but they’ll look good in the brochure text.)  We’ll pick up a connection to another state highway (110) and bring us within spitting distance of State Road 8.

Oh, sure…  There are naysayers that will bring up issues like water and sewer as well as police protection.  Those are just details.  Our Senators are voting 1,200 page bills into Law without reading them, so we shouldn’t get caught up in the details when we  can vote for… wait for it… “Change”!

Oops!  I slipped off my original soap box onto an adjacent one.  Sorry.   We were talking about golf carts.   Annex the Lake!  Annex the Lake!

There are lots of good reasons for pursuing additional annexation.  Unfortunately, good reasons aren’t often good enough.  The Town is pursuing annexation on South Main Street, but one property owner is threatening to oppose it.  Why?  No apparent reason.  The property is already within Culver’s zoning boundary and any tax increase would be minimal since the property is undeveloped.  Since part of the package is the extension of water and sewer to this area, the annexation would only enhance the property and increase the value.  Apparently those aren’t things worth consideration.

Towns are either growing or dying.  There is no staying the same.  Culver needs to plan for growth and pursue it diligently.  The golf cart debate is kind of silly.  Annexing the Lake should remain on the table for consideration.

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