Richmond could become state’s next ‘golf cart’ city

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – They’ve long been a mainstay at beach, golf and retirement communities.

But in recent years, they’ve increasingly become more and more popular as part of every day life in towns across the country.

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Richmond could join Flemingsburg, Boone County and Garrard County as among those in Kentucky that allow golf carts on city streets.

Everything from convenience and affordability to high fuel prices and helping the environment have sparked the growth in non-traditional uses.

But for many, it’s a basic quality-of-life issue and that translates into economic benefits.

“It really makes a quality of life issue for Richmond residents, makes it kind of popular. It’s really a neat thing to be able to do those things. Richmond is a cool place to live and I get my livelihood here and I’ve invested here and I want it to succeed just like everybody else. I think if you give people reasons to come, they will come,” golf cart enthusiast and business owner Chris Hager told members of the Richmond City Commission Tuesday.

As just one example, he noted residents of a proposed new development on the city’s eastern edge could ride their golf carts from their homes to nearby restaurants and businesses. In other cases, residents near downtown could use theirs to get to and from events without causing as much traffic and parking issues.

Golf carts must meet a number of safety standards and must be driven by licensed drivers.

City leaders will survey the community and possibly consider adopting state regulations later this summer.

The City Commission also will poll residents on the possibility of opening up Sunday package beer and liquor sales to match many surrounding cities. Charley Hamilton, a lifelong resident who owns a brewery in the city, said it would help promote weekend tourism.

Bars and restaurants can sell but actual package stores can’t. City leaders will have to decide whether to address just beer sales or liquor and beer.

The city’s possible annexation of property on the city’s east side likely will be completed in October, city leaders said during Tuesday’s meeting.