You want to drive a golf cart in Houma Bayou Country Sports Park? You will need a permit for this.
Officials want residents to know about the permit, which costs $75 a year. They say the process, which has just been posted online, is designed to protect people and the park.
“We want everyone to have fun, but we want them to have fun safely,” Terrebonne Parish President Gordy Dove said Thursday. “If we don’t put something in place and, God forbid, someone gets hurt or killed, we’re not doing our job.”
Vehicles can be dangerous, said Dove, who mentioned a Grand Isle 4th of July weekend tragedy in which a four-wheeled UTV, similar to a golf cart, overturned. A 15-year-old girl was killed and another youngster was injured.
The Park, at 4374 La. 311, is the largest in the parish, with streets winding past soccer fields, a fishing pond and beach, a water park, and baseball diamonds.
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Dean Schouest, park manager, said at least five or six golf carts visit each day. The park is located between three or four subdivisions, and Schouest said residents use the golf carts to get around. In total, he estimates that about 50 golf carts frequent the park.
“We want them to know they can use them, but they have to stay off the grass,” Schouest said. “That’s what a lot of kids do, it’s cut football pitches, and it’s hard for us to maintain them.”
The permit and related rules are the result of an ordinance the Terrebonne Parish Council passed on March 23. Here is what the law requires:
- All “low-speed vehicles” must purchase a permit, obtain an inspection sticker and have proof of liability insurance to operate in the park.
- The ordinance defines low-speed vehicles as any motorized four-wheeled vehicle with a top speed of 25 mph or less.
- Children under the age of six are not permitted on vehicles.
- Vehicles will only be permitted on park roads during the day and in good weather.
- Anyone who violates the rules of the ordinance will be subject to a fine of up to $200.
Provisional permits are available from the Parish Planning Department in the Government Tower at Main and Gabasse Streets in Houma. The sheriff’s office is supposed to distribute permit stickers, which must be displayed on vehicle windows.
Officials said the order was not posted on the government’s website, tpcg.org, citing a labor shortage. No one has applied for permits yet, and parish officials said they are still putting the stickers and new permit forms in place.
Schouest said once the order is posted online, his office will place signs in the park notifying people of the requirement.
Parish planning director Chris Pulaski said residents can apply now and receive a provisional permit. He said a link will be online soon to accept applications. In the meantime, residents can contact him at 873-6569 or [email protected]