FERGUSON - Small town mayors are jacks of all trades - without the paycheck.
And when Ferguson Mayor Dale Thompson needs to go check on the town's water pump, work at the community center or visit a council member, he prefers too quickly hop on a golf cart instead of firing up his truck.
"It's just convenient," Thompson said.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Ferguson residents on golf carts stop to chat in town. Pictured are, from left, Glenda Thompson, Ellen McKay, Amanda Rahn, Hope Rahn and Ferguson Mayor Dale Thompson.
Ferguson residents own about eight golf carts that they use to go to the post office to pick up their mail, visit friends, go for a ride on a nice summer night or give children a thrill by letting them on board.
"They love it," Thompson said. "They think it's an amusement ride."
Ferguson resident Ellen McKay totes around her four-legged friends on her 1979 cart.
"My dogs and cat love to ride in them," she said.
There is also the benefit with the battery-powered carts that they can get around town without the cost of gas. Thompson will get about six hours of riding on a charged battery.
Thompson said when some area residents were complaining about the golf carts on the roads, the town decided to pass an ordinance to make them legal, which was six years ago.
The town does not charge them a fee but residents must have them insured.
Many area small towns have also passed similar ordinances allowing golf carts on town roads. State Center passed its ordinance last year which requires golf carts to get registered for $20 a year and mandates that they have flags and a reflector on them.
"It's seems to work out fairly well," Quick said.
Quick said as many people in the smaller towns get older, they are choosing this method of transportation instead of a bike or walking.
"It's a little bit (due to the) aging population," Quick said.
Thompson said the carts have worked out well in town and there haven't been any close calls with carts and cars that he knows of.
"Not in Ferguson," he said. "We're lucky if we get five cars driving by the house in one day."