Petition Filed with Town of Lake City to Repeal Ordinance Allowing OHVs Within Town Limits

At 2:25 p.m. November 7, a petition was filed with the Town of Lake City to repeal Section 20-76 of Article IV of the town’s Municipal Code. The ordinance regulates the operation of off-road vehicles within the Town of Lake City limits and would be replaced with Section 20-78, which would prohibit them.
The petition was initiated by Larry Iiams and John Coy and bears 41 signatures from local registered voters; 19 signatures (5 percent of the 361 registered voters in the Town of Lake City) are required for the petition to be eligible for verification.
Town Clerk Jamie Turrentine has 30 days to verify the petition, and a special election could be held as early as April. Turrentine says the process toward a special election could be lengthened if the petition is protested.
According to Turrentine and Town Manager Caroline Mitchell, the cost of a special election could range anywhere from $6,000 up to nearly $20,000 when factoring in costs for election officials, attorney fees and travel fees, in addition to other expense factors. A regular election, Turrentine said, typically costs approximately $6,000.
After a heated summer-long debate between pro and anti-OHV citizens, Iiams and Coy began collecting signatures on the petition in early October. Iiams and Bernadette Hagendorf co-circulated the petition, Iiams stating that obtaining twice the required amount of signatures “was not difficult to do.”
Should the issue go to voters in a special election, it will be the fourth time the issue has been voted on, the last election being in 2015 when the measure passed. In the 2015 special election, 132 votes were cast in favor of an OHV pilot program for the summer of 2016, with 81 votes against; on the same ballot, 120 votes were cast in favor of OHVs being allowed within Lake City town limits, with 96 voting against.