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Manchester Sending MoDOT, State Leaders a Message About Mowing

Manchester aldermen are unhappy with the way MoDOT is cutting its grass along Highway 141. They say it's dangerous and they're asking state leaders for help.

Manchester aldermen are not happy with the way the is maintaining the grass along Highway 141. 

The issue, according to some aldermen, is that 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.

Aldermen said at a recent meeting that they've essentially hit a wall and are not getting a satisfactory resolution from MoDOT, so the city will now send a letter to MoDOT and Missouri State leaders to express their dissatisfaction.

"How can we tell residents they must keep their grass less than 10 inches or be cited by the city, and yet, we have to put up with what MoDOT is doing to us?" Alderman Marilyn Ottenad asked. "If residents had more than 10 inches, they's be cited. We as a city cannot cite the state."

In addition to long weeds being left along Highway 141, Alderman Michael Clement said the work MoDOT is doing looks sloppy.

"What they did, it just is unacceptable, as well," Clement said. "When they are cutting, it looks trashy."

The day Patch walked along Highway 141 with Alderman Ottenad, MoDOT crews were just leaving the area after cutting the grass along Howard George Drive, next to Highway 141. Photos of that section can be viewed in the photo portion of this article. Ottenad said this was one of the three times MoDOT has agreed to cut its grass along the highway this year. The next cutting comes in mid-July and then in September.

"I can't imagine by July how high it's going to be if they're only going to do it three times a year," Ottenad said.

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Some of the photos taken by Patch show how high the areas of grass grow that were not cut by MoDOT that day. You can see in comparision to Alderman Ottenad the height of the grass and there are patches that are feet wide along roads and next to residents' homes.

Ottenad said residents are concerned about the bugs, possible snakes and inability to see deer that is created by the high weeds.

"If they let this grow to two or three feet, we have no reaction time if deer come out. We won't even know it until they're on top of us," Ottenad said. "People walk and jog on this sidewalk at night. What's to keep snakes from coming out of here? Or any other animal? I mean, you don't know what's in the weeds."

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Ottenad said it's not this area near Howard George Drive, as Patch drove along Highway 141, Ottenad pointed out the patches of high grass along the road way, including at Bromfield Terrace and Rockhurst Drive in Manchester's Chadwick Estates subdivision.

She said the City of Manchester and MoDOT have been going back and forth for a while, but the city has now "hit a wall."

"To have to beg MoDOT to do this is just unreal," Ottenad tells Patch. "Other parts of Missouri are completely mowed, including along Highway 40."

Ottenad said she has called State Senator Eric Schmidt's office and State Representative Sue Allen's office, but has not heard back from either on the issue.

Aldermen also voted at the last board of alermen meeting on May 21 to send a letter to State Senator Eric Schmidt, State Representative Sue Allen and MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassenger alerting them to their concerns and dissatisfaction of the service and cutting that is being provided.

Ottenad said she did receive a call from MoDOT Thursday after being contacted by Eric Schmid't office, but was told what MoDOT is currently doing all MoDOT is going to do and that this is the direction the local MoDOT office is being given from Jefferson City.

Currently, Valley Park is cutting MoDOT property, while Twin Oaks and Webster Groves are outsourcing and paying to have a company cut MoDOT's grass, Ottenad said.

An option she brought to the attention of aldemen at that board meeting is having the City of Manchester cut those areas of concern which are MoDOT's responsibity to maintain.

Check back to Town and Country - Manchester Patch later this week for more details on that and the response from city leaders on the idea.

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Jean May 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Actually I don't mind the weeds too much. Kind of like natural look. But things like snakes do freak me out.

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