You will soon see golf carts instead of brown trucks delivering packages around Gilmer.
The Gilmer City Council, at its meeting Tuesday night, approved a request from United Parcel Service (UPS) to use golf carts within the city limits of Gilmer to deliver packages during the upcoming holiday season, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24.
The carts will all be operated by UPS employees, and the company will take full responsibility for the cars’ storage unit and all contents during the period.
The temporary ordinance approved by the council has the following provisions:
• An operator of a golf cart who has a valid driver’s license may operate the golf cart on a public street or highway which has a posted speed limit of not more than 35 miles per hour, within the city limits.
• The cart must comply with other applicable laws and must be equipped with headlights, tail lights, reflectors, a parking brake, mirrors and must carry a slow-moving vehicle emblem.
• A person who operates a golf car on a public street or highway under the terms of the ordinance must maintain current financial responsibility for the golf cart, as required for other passenger vehicles under the Texas Transportation Code.
• A fine of $200 per offense will be assessed for violations.
All Gilmer city ordinances which may conflict with this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.
City Manager Jeff Ellington said that UPS would take its trucks into neighborhoods, park, and use the carts for deliveries in those neighborhoods. He said the carts would not be allowed to operate on Hwy. 154 or U.S. 271, where the speed limit is above 35 mph.
He said UPS told him they have already used this system successfully in Longview.
The council also approved contracting with a computer support company to maintain the city’s computer server hardware, operating system and other additional computer support.
“It will cost more, but we have no choice,” Ellington said. “The current provider is going out of business.”
He said City Business Manager Gary Smith is currently working out the details on a new contract.
The council also approved matching funds for a grant from the Texas Forest Service to purchase a computer for the Gilmer Fire Department.
The TFS will provide $750 of the $1,000 grant, with the city paying $250.
Ellington said the city that, since the grant is in the name of the Volunteer Fire Department, the city will pay the VFD and they use it with the TFS money to buy the computer.