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Roundabout changes afoot once more in Belton

By Allen Edmonds

Looking back nearly three decades, there has rarely been a period of time without discussion focused on the four roundabouts on M-58 Highway between Scott Avenue and Cherry Hill.

Although the roadway is a state highway, the Missouri Department of Transportation has made it clear to local officials that maintenance of the islands are city responsibility, which places the frustration of how to deal with the issue in local hands.

For the last year-plus, it seemed the city had found the solution. Maybe not the prettiest of possible options, but one that seemed to get the job done. Large rocks.

Rocks too large to routinely spill off the island and into the roadway, but mini-boulders that kept the vegetation growth down. That allows a clear sightline ahead past the island and reduces the need for maintenance.

But apparently, someone from MoDOT finally made their way out this way and, of course, Belton’s solution isn’t acceptable.

As a result, city equipment was hard at work Monday clearing the island at Hawthorne Street down to the dirt.

Public Works Director Greg Rokos first said Monday there is no plan for the islands other than following marching orders.

Greg Rokos

“MoDOT told us to remove the rock,” Rokos said. “Not a real plan past that. It is their round-a-bout and they have not given much direction. I’m sorry I do not have more information for you.”

Meanwhile, MoDOT Communications Specialist Katelynn R. Manzke had the following to say: “MoDOT is working with the City of Belton on what they can put back in it.” That was in response to much larger compound question that asked, among other things, why the city was being asked to remove the rock after it had been in place so long.

By Tuesday afternoon, apparently Rokos had been given at least some degree of direction from his state government brethren (or “sisteren” as the case may be).

“They always said rock was okay, but they did not like the size. We tried smaller rock and it always ended up on the street. So we went with a larger rock, but they say it is too big. It exceeded their standards,” Rokos said.

And apparently, the city has finally been given some options, he said.

“Yes, they have given us two options. One would be grass, preferable to be a non-mowing grass like buffalo grass that grows 6 inches and stops. That way you do not have to mow it and it is lower maintenance. The other option is red concrete.

“We will consider the options and make a decision,” Rokos said.

1 Comment

Its good to see the city get a taste of their own medicine! The belton city codes enforcement has run amuck citing people for violations that are not and should not be.. like rocks where they don't like them!!

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