MoDOT is cutting only 15 feet along Highway 141 and 15 feet from a resident's property, but then leaving the rest of the land as weeds. This is all that is required of MoDOT.
Manchester city leaders also say the the grass MoDOT is cutting looks sloppy and aldermen want a better, more manicured mowing job along the state highway and residents homes.
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At the end of May, after going back and forth with MoDOT, Manchester sent the department and state leaders a letter stating its dissatisfaction and its desire for a better job.
MoDOT and state leaders toured the area, then MoDOT gave the City of Manchester a June 22 deadine that it would make a decision on what, if any, options it could offer as a solution to solve the grass cutting concerns.
MoDOT told Patch some cities were already mowing MoDOT's grass on their own, but Manchester leaders said that is not their financial responsibility or a burden they are willing to take on. MoDOT also said it was considering selling or giving the parcels of land in question to the City of Manchester or interested residents.
Thursday evening, Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT district maintenance engineer for St. Louis, told Patch the exchange of land parcels is still be evaluated at this time. She said the proposal is still in the hands of MoDOT's Right Of Way Department.
"It takes a couple of months to get that going because everything has to be surveyed and appraised and see what the market value is on that. Then they go out and talk to adjacent owners and see if anybody's interested and if nobody's interested, we'll put it on the market," Allmeroth said.
However, while the parcel exchange is under consideration, MoDOT said it will not be cutting more than its requited 15 feet along Highway 141 and other similar routes in the St. Louis area. MoDOT does plan to add one more round of mowing next year, which will take the total amount to four rounds along Highway 141 next summer.
"We did kind of go and review district wide what everything looks like. Next year we will definitely make a change and do an additional round of mowing if we have a growing season like we had this year, because that's what got us this year," Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT district maintenance engineer for St. Louis tells Patch. "We always do our first cut around Memorial Day, but we had such a huge amount of growing that we should have really done an earlier cut around April."
Allmeroth said some of the interstates will however see more areas of grass cut beginning in July, particularly along the Interstate 270 corridor.
"We are going to do a little bit more mowing and a little more clean up," Allmeroth said. "That's where we're going to do some addiitonal mowing."
Highway 141 will see more spraying for weeds and MoDOT plans to slow the mowers down along the highway to give the grass a cleaner cut in the upcoming July round.
"We're going to slow down a little bit, get some extra time and trim a little better," Allmeroth said. "It will look a lot nicer than that first round did."
However this is not the solution Manchester Alderman Marilyn Ottenad wanted from MoDOT.
"I am thoroughly disappointed because I feel sorry for the residents who live next door to that property that MoDOT won't mow," Ottenad tells Patch. "I don't know where we go from here. I don't know what we as a city can do."
Although disappointed, Ottenad said she is not surprised MoDOT is not increasing the areas of its grass that it will mow along Highway 141.
"It was a just a show for the state representatives," Ottenad said. "How sad that MoDOT can't keep up their own property. They just hope that people get so frustrated and disgusted that they mow the property, even if they don't own it."
Ottenad said it's already happening in Mancester with the grass near neighborhoods.
She said the one additional mow that MoDOT is considering adding along Highway 141 next year is not enough.
"So they add another grass cutting, big deal. If they're not going to take down some of the junk along Highway 141, what's the point?" Ottenad asked. "I just feel like I failed the residents."
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