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Tama Council hears concerns over new UTV ordinance

August 9, 2019
By Allison Graham - The News-Herald ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By Allison Graham

The News-Herald

For the first time since discussions began to allow UTVs (utility task vehicles) on city streets the council heard from a citizen who is not in favor of the ordinance. Tama City resident and former council member, Steve (Elmer) Baier, attended Monday's regular meeting to discuss his opinions on the matter.

Baier shared he is concerned young children will be allowed to ride in the vehicle and he feels UTVs are not equipped to properly transport children.

"It's going to happen, someone is going to put their two year old on that vehicle and say buckled in is right when it's not because they are supposed to be in a carseat," said Baier.

Baier also stated he feels Tama City police have enough to worry about without adding another type of vehicle onto the roadways. He also questioned whether a slow moving UTV would require a slow moving vehicle flag like a golf cart.

"Overall I'm against putting these out on the streets. I think the golf carts are plenty," said Baier.

After being questioned about the council's decision to move forward with the new ordinance, council member Aaron Haughey explained his reasoning to Baier. The conversation began at the ATV park in Tama with some people who were wanting to find a restaurant in Tama and asked if they were allowed to drive their UTV's into town. Haughey also shared that some of the businesses that mow use ATV's to transport mowers.

"This is just to make it easier for guys to drive around, rather than in our vehicles. It's more of a trend right now," said Haughey.

Haughey expressed he has had roughly six people show interest in allowing UTV's on the road. Council member Emily Babinat also said she has had several people show interest for the UTV ordinance to help with their businesses.

Council member Doug Ray sought advice from Tama Police Chief, Jason Bina on the matter.

"I'm not for it, I'm not against it. A lot of the guys aren't for it because like I've said in previous meetings I think we are going to have more serious accidents putting these type of vehicles on the road," said Bina.

"My personal feeling is if DOT was wanting these out there then the State of Iowa would agree and allow them to drive wherever," said Bina. "I said we were going to have house fires if the fireworks were passed and we've had two of them."

City Clerk Alyssa Hoskey said feedback she has heard is pretty split, about half the people she's heard from are for the ordinance and half are against.

Some UTV requirements and restrictions:

UTVs must be registered with the DNR

drivers must have liability coverage

drivers must possess a valid drivers license

UTVs are not allowed in highways

headlights if equipped must be on at all times when using city streets

UTVs can only carry as many passengers as factory seats

UTVs must be equipped with headlights, taillights, running lights, turn signals and Iowa DOT approved reflective tape may be operated 24 hours a day.

UTVs not containing all of the above listed requirements and unable to travel at 25 mph plus can operated from dusk to dawn

The second reading passed 4-1 with Haughey, Robert Tyynismaa, Babinat and Ray voting in favor and Kenny McAdoo voting against. There will be a final reading at the next council meeting on August 19.

Trees in the Berm

Public Works Director, John Lloyd shared concerns about trees on berms. In the past if there are dead trees in berms the city would take them. Lloyd recommends that the trees be taken care of by homeowners before the trees die. He also recommended stump removal be done as well to fully deal with the problem. Lloyd said he knows of six or seven trees that need attention. The public works department plans to start putting out notices to homeowners. If the homeowners do not want to deal with them the issue will come back to the city for the city to issue a nuisance abatement.

In other business the council:

approved the closure of East 3rd Street from noon to 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 from State to Harmon Street for an event.

approved ordinance no. 594 on adjusting water rates

set public hearing amending series 2017 Go Bond Issuance for August 19 at 6 p.m.

accepted a resolution for mileage reimbursement. The city was at $.45 which is outdated. Hoskey recommended aligning with the IRS for reimbursement.

accepted a bid for cleaning by Pat Campbell for $410 bi-weekly.

accepted a bid for $16,267 for a new pump for the sewer plant from Iowa Pump Works.

accepted a quote from Bobcat for a new skit Loader for $36,820.,

accepted a bid to replace the air conditioner at the water plant for $1296 from Ternus Electric.

approved an education expense reimbursement agreement with Nick Peshel to obtain and maintain a Grade II Water Treatment Operator Certification and a Grade III Waste Water Treatment Operator Certification. The amount for schooling shall not exceed $13,000.

approved a proclamation from Power Up Iowa which is a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters that promote the economic benefits of wind energy across the state of Iowa. American Wind Week will be kicked off at the Iowa State Fair on Monday, August 12 with a proclamation signing by Governor Kim Reynolds.


Public works director John Lloyd shared the following in his report: Arion wants to bring in fiber,the department has been working on fixes on State to a service line, televising from Central Iowa Televising was recently done and a report should be coming soon. Lloyd is a new EMT for Tama.

Kenny McAdoo asked about the windows at the library. Babinat informed the meeting was cancelled due to board member issues and rescheduled for Tuesday.

Aaron Haughey has a revised list of nuisance houses containing roughly 13 houses that are abandoned.

Doug Ray stated he has heard lots of compliments on the new sign outside the civic center.



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