Proposal to allow golf carts on Tea’s city streets fails

The measure was defeated this week on a 4-2 vote in the ordinance’s second reading.

Tea Water Tower.jpg
The city of Tea, pop. 6,256, lies in the northwestern end of Lincoln County, just outside of Sioux Falls.
Hunter Dunteman / Sioux Falls Live

TEA, S.D. — The Tea City Council voted down a proposed ordinance this week that would have allowed golf carts to be operated on the city’s public streets.

With a 4-2 vote, council members declined to pass the ordinance on its second reading at the regular meeting Monday, April 17.

Though the reasoning behind the denial wasn’t available in meeting minutes, Tea City Administrator Dan Zulkosky told Sioux Falls Live in an email that the vote came after general discussion from council members.

The proposal would have amended the city’s traffic code to allow the operation of golf carts on public streets after registering with the city and acquiring a $50 permit. Permits would have expired at the end of the calendar year before being open for renewal.

Under the proposal, golf carts for use on public streets would have been required to carry liability insurance in line with state minimums, and drivers would be required to hold an operator’s license, which cannot be obtained until 16 years of age.


The ordinance forebade operation on state or county highways except when crossing, which would have restricted use on First Street and Heritage Parkway, two of the city’s main thoroughfares.

The failed proposal was a renewed effort similar to a 2020 proposal to allow golf carts to operate in city streets that was vetoed by then-Mayor John Lawler.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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