The scooters will now be limited to residential sidewalks and parking lots.
Altus Police Capt. Mary Zepeda and Assistant Police Chief Mike Howeth appeared to lobby for passage of the ordinance.
Zepeda said she was concerned about children, who commonly ride the scooters. As evidence of the dangers involved, she told of witnessing a 10-year-old girl and her little sister riding on the corner of Willard and Crane. "The girls busted through a stop sign, which lunged them into the other lane," Zepeda recounted.
She said she saw no helmets in use and no adult supervision.
Councilors noted that while under the new ordinance those kids would not be allowed to ride scooters on city streets, they would not be required to wear helmets on residential sidewalks.
There is a 30-day grace period to give time for parents to acquaint themselves with the new rules. After that, violators will face a fine of $65.
The ordinance passed 7-1, with Jerry Don Henry being the only member to vote no. Henry said it really bothered him that the council had not made a decision earlier, that now parents had already purchased the scooters for their children. He also said many neighborhoods don't have sidewalks or parking lots for the children to ride and that some parents would now be stuck with scooters that the children can't ride in certain areas.
In other action:
n Council reviewed a request from the Lugert Altus Irrigation District to permit the district to use city water in the amount of 8,000 acre feet, which left the reserve for the city at 2,000 acre feet. Tom Buchanan of the district was on hand to answer any questions and discuss the issue. Councilman Sid Willis questioned him about the lake holding less and less water each year, saying many citizens had suggested dredging. Buchanan said several surveys were being conducted at the lake and by September they should have a finalized plan addressing the issue. Dredging would definitely be considered. Council unanimously approved the irrigation district's request.
n Geno Redmon was introduced as director of military and economic development. Redmon said he had reasons to be optimistic about Altus Air Force Base being kept open in the future and that he's been very active in delegations concerning this issue. Redmon is contracted with the Altus/Southwest Area Economic Development Corporation. He will serve as a liaison between the community and Altus AFB and will promote existing Altus businesses and recruit new industry. Redmon signed a one-year contract and will earn $75,000.
n Parks and Recreation Director Randy Marple thanked Sid Willis and Kenny Combs' crew for their help in the beautification of the city cemetery.