The city of Mabel has a new ordinance that regulates recreational vehicles. The new ordinance passed the city council unanimously during its meeting on Wednesday, April 9.

"Our previous ordinance had not been updated for some time and did not include all of the recreational vehicles, but rather was limited to just a couple of them," said City Clerk Karen Larson. "Many residents in Mabel enjoy driving their vehicles around town and we encourage them to continue to do so. Our priority is the safety of our residents. With this new ordinance we feel that residents can still enjoy driving their recreational vehicles around town and the city council is reassured that proper safety measures have been taken."

Under the new ordinance, those who operate golf carts, all-terrain and utility terrain vehicles, mini trucks or other recreational motor vehicles need to register for a permit through the city. The permit fee has been set at $15. The applicant must fill out the form at city hall and prove they have a valid driver's license. Permits will be granted for a period of one year and must be renewed annually.

Further regulations include the vehicles must only be operated on city streets and not on state or federal highways and can only be operated from sunrise to sunset and not used during unfavorable weather conditions.

The number of occupants in each vehicle must not exceed one person per seat in each vehicle; the operator must carry insurance and the vehicle must have rear view mirrors and a slow moving vehicle sign.

Operation of electronic personal assistive mobility devices do not require a permit to operate and is to be operated primarily on personal property and sidewalks. Operation is allowed on city streets primarily when they are used to make a direct crossing of the street, when there is no sidewalk available.

Operation of motorized or electronic bicycles must hold a motorized bicycle permit. Operation of vehicles commonly called "go-peds," or motorized scooters is not legal on city streets but is limited to private property.

"Our new ordinance has been expanded to include all recreational vehicles," Larson added.

Council members Laura St. Mary and Susan Amunrud, along with Fillmore County Deputy Jesse Grabau, assisted in drafting the revised ordinance.

"It really all comes from a safety aspect...and a lot of this is all state law as well," said St. Mary.