Mayor Morris Pate introduced discussion of the Animal Drawn Vehicle ordinance at Monday's city council meeting and alderman James DeVito immediately asked for Susan Tharp of Olden Days Carriage to express her sentiments.
Tharp stated that one section of the ordinance was deleted from a previous version regulating times of operation. She said her experience was that it was too dangerous to operate an animal-drawn vehicle during heavy traffic hours and her company never ran before 5 p.m. She said it was a safety issue for carriage passengers and motorists, and encouraged council to reinsert a paragraph which prohibited animal-drawn vehicle business before 4 p.m.
Tharp pointed out that the ordinance originally included a paragraph prohibiting animal-drawn vehicles from operating on US 62, but the paragraph had been deleted. She said the highway is too dangerous and the ordinance should reflect this, and that Police Chief Earl Hyatt had voiced concern over the use of US 62, a federal highway, for horse-drawn carriages.
She added that this council has heard her concerns, but the ordinance needs to include safeguards to protect councils and franchises in the future.
She also asked that an appendix to the ordinance include accurate descriptions of franchise routes.
Alderman Ken Pownall agreed that it would be helpful to include descriptions of routes, but city attorney Tim Weaver cautioned that it would be better to add routes as franchises are renewed or added.
DeVito moved to ask Weaver to rework the missing sections of the draft and bring it back to council, and that vote was unanimous.