Mark Taylor
The Edgerton City Council will host a meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31 to discuss citizens’ concerns about a city ordinance that prohibits riding lawnmowers on city streets.
Mayor Don Roberts suggested the meeting on July 26 after several residents spoke in favor of a 19-year-old resident with autism who earns money mowing lawns around Edgerton.
The man was recently cited for riding his mower on the streets
There may or may not be a quorum of council members in attendance.
Roberts said he mostly scheduled the meeting to meet with the man’s family and explore possibilities for solving the problem.
The man drives the mower — which is equipped with lights, a trailer and a triangle — from job to job, using the city streets.
Several neighbors became upset when the man was ticketed.
The ticket resulted from a noise complaint filed by another neighbor.
Rick Magee, the man’s uncle, said he wants the council to amend the existing ordinance to allow mowers to be ridden on the street, or a special variance for his nephew.
“They’re kind of using (the man’s) disability as a tool,” he told The Gardner News. “At this point, I don’t know that’s really the way to go. He is legally disabled, but like I said, he’s pretty high functioning, so he’s quite capable of driving this mower on the street.
“We’ve talked to three different deputies and all three of them have said they have no problems with (his nephew) driving this mower. He pulls a little trailer. He’s got taillights on it. He’s got a triangle on it. He drives to the side of the road.
Magee added, “He’s not a threat to the traffic or anything like that. He doesn’t get out on the highway or any of the main thoroughfares. That’s kind of the story.”
Several residents spoke in favor of allowing lawn mowers on the streets during the council’s July 26 meeting.
One resident said, “He never bothers me. He has never done anything wrong. He’s a worker…he’s a good kid.”
Another residents asked why farm tractors are allowed to drive on the streets.
Farm tractors are exempted from the ordinance, they were told.
Magee said he is also working with his nephew to make him understand that 6 a.m. is too early to start his lawnmower.
The city’s noise ordinance prohibits excessive noise between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.