MINER - Missouri Department of Transportation officials don't want to hack Miner's trees, but unless an agreement is worked out with billboard advertisers they will have to issue a permit to allow it.
MoDOT officials explained during the regular Miner Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday that state statutes mandate advertising companies may trim back vegetation within 450 feet of a billboard's face to provide a clear view of their sign. "They have the right, according to state law, to come in and trim the trees obstructing the view," he said.
While the city was granted a beautification permit in 1993, it does not include absolute rights with regards to the vegetation, said District Engineer Scott Meyer.
Mark Rankin, district outdoor advertising specialist for MoDOT, said the advertising company has offered to replace trees with other vegetation as they may not survive being trimmed back enough to provide a clear view. "They've just volunteered to do this," Rankin said.
MoDOT officials said there are about a dozen signs that have Miner's trees in front of them.
Meyer agreed to submit a landscaping plan for the Board to consider.
In other City of Miner business Tuesday:
* The city's mutual aid agreement with the New Hamburg-Benton-Commerce Fire District was updated.
"We've had an agreement with them since 1991 and we're just updating it," said Benny Thurston, fire division chief. "We need their assistance as bad as they need ours."
* Three acres on the north side of Ables Road roughly 100 yards west of State Highway AA were rezoned from agricultural to residential.
A building for the Sikeston Community Church is slated to be built there once the land is filled about two feet higher for a flood plain permit.
* The Board agreed to hire a water district technician who has been assisting the city for the last few weeks and holds a class A operator's license for water treatment plants.
"Just keep up the good work," Tatum said.
* Inquiries are being made about the building formerly occupied by Suzy Q's, according to city officials. "They're wanting to have a pool hall and serve liquor," said Tatum. He recommended the Board deny any liquor licenses for such a business, adding, "We have enough taverns, we have enough hangouts in town."
Tatum said he would not be opposed to another pool hall if no liquor was served there.
* A city resident voiced concerns about a local roofing company cooking tar in town.
"They're not supposed to cook it there," she said. "They're only supposed to have offices and equipment there. ... It's too close to residential."
Police Chief Roger Moore agreed to visit the business and discuss the issue.