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Should Manchester Pay to Cut MoDOT's Grass?

That's a question asked at a recent Manchester Board of Aldermen meeting as a result of Manchester's dissatisfaction with MoDOT's maintenance of land along Highway 141.

Manchester aldermen are not happy with the way the  is maintaining the grass along Highway 141 and they are looking for a solution.

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Alderwoman Marilyn Ottenad said the city has "hit a wall," but feels it has to do something.

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.

The city is sending now sending MoDOT and Missouri State leaders a letter to express their dissatisfaction, but city leaders are still searching for solutions to get the grass cut.

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

"I really have a problem using city funds to maintain MoDOT's property," Ottenad said.

However, she asked fellow aldermen and city leaders at the last board of aldermen meeting if they thought the city should begin mowing the land that is MoDOT's responsibility to maintain.

Fellow aldermen Paul Hamill and Michael Clement did not feel this is a "path the city should go down."

"It would become a tremendous expense and it is not our burden at all," Alderman Michael Clement said. 

City Attorny Patrick Gunn also said it would not only set a bad precedent, but could also create financial issues for the city.

"We can't spend public money for a private purpose," Gunn explained.

He said that would be the case if the city began cutting MoDOT's grass.

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Ottenad also received a call from a MoDOT representative after this discussion took place. She said she addressed with MoDOT that the grass along Highway 40 is cut with no taller portions of grass standing along the higway.

She tells Patch that MoDOT said some of the cities along Highway 40, including Ladue, are cutting MoDOT's grass along the roadways.

Ottenad said she then asked the MoDOT representative the following question.

"If you spent between between 74 and 76 thousand doallars on a seminiar in Springfield, why can't you cut the grass the next to residents?"

She said she did not get an answer, but would like one.

"Because every year we hear the same thing, they are cutting back on services and cutting back on personel," Ottenad said. Plus, there's money left over from salt from a mild winter."

What do you think? Should city's pay to maintain MoDOT's grass?

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