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Should Moped Riders Wear Helmets?

By Staff | Mar 31, 2011

Members of Emmetsburg City Council discussed a citizen request for an ordinance to require moped operators to wear helmets. The idea will be sent to the Public Safety Committee for consideration.

A group of seven Emmetsburg High School students attended the Monday night meeting. When this item came up for discussion, three of the students said they ride mopeds, but none of them wear helmets.

City Administrator John Bird said it is common in Spencer for moped riders to wear helmets.

City Clerk Kim Kibbie said she had talked with people in Spencer about moped riders wearing helmets and found out that the city has no law. Parents enacted enforcement, she said.

Councilman Steve Finer said the request to the Emmetsburg council sounds like a parent requested a law so he/she would not have to argue with their child. He recommended that the Public Safety Committee discuss whether or not to enact an ordinance.

“St. Pat’s, from our perception, was the best St. Pat’s in years,” Emmetsburg Police Chief Eric Hanson told members of the council. “We saw an increase in uptown business Thursday and on into Friday and Saturday.”

Hanson noted that underage drinking was more difficult because all of the bars had people checking identification at the door.

“This is quite a change from what we’ve seen in the past, and we look for good cooperation again next year,” said Hanson. “This is one of the best celebrations we’ve come through in quite a while.”

Council representatives discussed the Housing Rehabilitation Projects contract the city has with Simmering-Cory, Inc. Under the current contract, elected officials “shall not have any interest in the contract.” Councilman Corey Gramowski, from Gramowski Construction, has indicated he would be interested in bidding on this work.

City Attorney Brian Thul told the council that city and state codes would allow an elected official to submit a bid, however the councilman would have to abstain from the vote to award bids. Thul added that this could increase competitive bidding, noting that the contract calls for conforming bid, not necessarily the lowest bid.

Mayor Schad pointed out that it may not be illegal, but he did not want to project the image of impropriety.

Councilman Brian Campbell said the city accepts competitive bids from other council members, including bids from Councilman Finer’s car business for new vehicles, and this would be no different.

On a motion to strike the paragraph in the contract prohibiting elected officials and city employees from bidding, all councilmen at the meeting voted yes. Gramowski abstained.

In other business, the council approved hiring Vicky VanOosbree as clubhouse manager at Five Island Golf. Nick Leewright and Matt Wellik were hired as seasonal employees at the golf course.

The city’s Public Properties Committee will meet Tuesday, April 5, at 6 p.m. to discuss the dock ordinance on Five Island Lake. The meeting is open to the public.