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Golf carts may be allowed on Fox Chase roads

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By Stephen Thomas

FOX CHASE - Unless changes occur before the city’s December council meeting, Fox Chase residents will soon be able to legally drive golf carts on city streets.

City attorney Mark Edison presented the first reading of a new ordinance allowing for licensed carts to be used on the streets.

The ordinance bans four-wheeled vehicles and scooters, but exempts golf carts driven by residents 12 years old and up.

The golf cart issue was brought up in previous meetings by residents who were concerned about legally driving their carts.

Edison said the new ordinance would override a state ban, but only on official city streets.

The city is also looking into adding stickers to each approved cart to acknowledge permission within the city.

Mayor Alice White advised the council to examine the new ordinance and address any concerns prior to a second reading and vote at the December meeting.

In other business:

- The council selected Rumpke’s bid as the city’s trash collection agency for the next three years.

Rumpke’s bid included weekly pick-up Monday mornings from 7 a.m. to noon and a roll-off container.

The bid included a service charge of $8.75 per month for each Fox Chase residence from Dec. 1 through Oct. 31, 2010. From there the charge would rise to $9 the next year and $9.25 the third year.

Rumpke’s bid also allows an option on a fourth year, with payment to be determined.

Rumpke was selected over Waste Management, the only other bidder. Waste Management included a once-weekly fee of $10.55 per month.

- White reported that repairs to a large sinkhole in Fox Chase were completed in the last month.

The hole developed along Sussex Drive near the David Selby residence. Selby thanked the city for their assistance at the October meeting.

White hired Dirt Design to examine and fill the hole. The total cost to the city was $7,875.

- City auditor David Buchenberger addressed the council discussing his two-year audit, including the 2008-09 fiscal year.

“I think your budget management is in good shape,” he told the council.

Buchenberger mentioned working with city clerk Ricki Daniels on locating a few invoices that were previously misplaced. He also credited the city with correcting an oversight that allowed overpayment of a previous city clerk, which has since been resolved.

The council unanimously approved the auditor’s report.

- Edison presented three delinquent city tax bills for auction totaling $1,051.59.

With no public bids, the city purchased the bills, which include an interest rate of one percent monthly for a 10-year period.

- The council discussed the issue of door-to-door solicitation within city limits.

“It’s become a problem,” White said.

Edison presented the council with copies of an ordinance recently issued by the city of Hebron Estates. The ordinance banned door-to-door solicitation with exemptions for police and fire departments, charity and religious organizations and schools.

The fine for solicitation in Hebron Estates was set at $500 for each offense.

Councilmember Lottie Judd suggested a sign be placed at city entrances saying a city permit or license was required.

The council will discuss the issue further at the December meeting.

The city of Hillview is also considering such an ordinance and could vote at its December meeting.

- White invited all city residents to a Christmas open house celebration prior to the council’s December meeting.

- The next meeting of the Fox Chase City Council takes place Tuesday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m., at Becknell Hall on Summitt Drive. The public is invited to attend.